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J Adolesc. 2005 Jun;28(3):381-95.

The association between bullying behaviour, arousal levels and behaviour problems.

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Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK.


Research into bullying behaviour has identified two main categories of bullying behaviour, direct bullying and relational bullying, within which different profiles are evident, namely 'pure' bullies, 'pure' victims, bully/victims and neutral children. The current study examined the relationship between direct and relational bullying profiles, arousal levels, and behaviour problems. 242 (males: 121, females: 121) Secondary school pupils (mean age 13.5 years) completed three questionnaires; the Arousal Predisposition Scale (APS) (Behav. Res. Therapy 26 (1988) 415); the School Relationships Questionnaire (SRQ) (detailed in J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry 41(8) (2000) 989; Br. J. Psychol. 92 (2001) 673); the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) (J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry 38(5) (1997) 581). Results revealed that the bully/victim profile for direct and relational bullying had the highest levels of arousal compared to other bullying profiles. Conversely, direct 'pure' bullies had low levels of arousal. Clinical behaviour problems as measured by the SDQ were associated with high levels of arousal. Clinically low arousal was not related to either bullying profiles, or behaviour problems. These findings were largely consistent with the arousal theory of behaviour (Crime and personality, 1964), which indicates that arousal levels are differentially associated with distinct behaviour patterns. The results provide implications for bullying intervention strategies, and methods to manage the school environment in relation to arousal levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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