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Aggress Behav. 2012 Nov-Dec;38(6):494-509. doi: 10.1002/ab.21438. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Bullying in classrooms: participant roles from a social network perspective.

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University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.


The aim of this research was to investigate if and how the group process of bullying can be examined using a social network perspective. In two studies, bullying was investigated using a social network version of the participant-role questionnaire. Study 1 explored the social network structure of one classroom in detail. The findings provide evidence that ingroup and outgroup effects are important in explaining the group process of bullying, and shed new light on defending, suggesting that not only victims are defended. In line with Study 1, Study 2, using data from 494 children in 25 elementary school classes (M age = 10.5), revealed that victims as well as bullies were defended by their ingroup members. The social network perspective can be integrated in antibullying interventions by using it to inform teachers about the positive and negative relations among students, and the group structure of the classroom.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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