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Horizons of Psychology :: Psihološka obzorja

Scientific and Professional Psychological Journal of the Slovenian Psychologists' Association

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School climate in peer bullying: observers' and active participants' perceptions

Sonja Pečjak & Tina Pirc

pdf Full text (pdf)  |  Views: 210  |  flagWritten in English.  |  Published: September 28, 2017

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Abstract: Peer bullying is a phenomenon present in all schools. The school as an institution has a major role in limiting peer bullying. The primary goal of the study was to determine how different groups of students perceived school climate in relation to peer bullying regarding their role in peer bullying (active participants: bullies, victims, bully-victims and non-active participants: observers). 414 students (from 18 primary and secondary schools) responded to The School Climate Bullying Survey (SCBS; Cornell, 2012), which measures the incidence of various forms of peer bullying and three dimensions of school climate (prevalence of teasing and bullying, aggressive attitudes, and willingness to seek help). The results showed that the active participants in peer bullying report a frequent presence of verbal and social bullying (54% and 40%, respectively) and a significantly lower frequency of physical and cyber bullying (14%). The largest differences between the groups of students were found in their perceptions of the prevalence of aggressive attitudes and willingness to seek help in a school context. In the perceptions of both of these dimensions we found a high degree of similarity between the groups of bullies and victim-bullies, and between the groups of victims and observers. The first two groups, when compared to the victims and observers, perceived to a greater extent that school allows aggression as a way of affirmation among peers and in school in general, and that neither teachers nor peers do not stop the bullying, which discourages the victims from seeking help from them. The results confirmed the existence of the association between students’ perceived school climate by bullying and their behavior (roles) in peer bullying.

Keywords: peer bullying, perceived school climate, bullies, victims, observers

Pečjak, S., & Pirc, T. (2017). School climate in peer bullying: observers' and active participants' perceptions. Psihološka obzorja, 26, 74–82.

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