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Br J Educ Psychol. 2006 Mar;76(Pt 1):71-90.

Peer and teacher bullying/victimization of South Australian secondary school students: prevalence and psychosocial profiles.

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Department of Psychology, University of Adelaide, Australia.


This study examined the nature and prevalence of bullying/victimization by peers and teachers reported by 1,284 students (mean age = 15.2 years) drawn from a representative sample of 25 South Australian government and private schools. Students completed a self-report survey containing questions relating to teacher and peer-related bullying, measures of psychosocial adjustment, and personality. The results showed that students could be clearly differentiated according to the type of victimization they had experienced. Students reporting peer victimization typically showed high levels of social alienation, poorer psychological functioning, and poorer self-esteem and self-image. By contrast, victims of teacher victimization were more likely to be rated as less able academically, had less intention to complete school and were more likely to be engaged in high-risk behaviours such as gambling, drug use and under-age drinking. Most bullying was found to occur at school rather than outside school and involved verbal aggression rather than physical harm. Boys were significantly more likely to be bullied than girls, with the highest rates being observed amongst boys attending single-sex government schools. Girls were more likely to be subject to bullying if they attended coeducational private schools. The implications of this work for enhancing school-retention rates and addressing psychological distress amongst adolescent students are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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