The roles of self-efficacy, peer interactions and attitudes in bully-victim incidents - Implications for intervention policy-practices
This study examines the relationship between both bullying and victimization (as a whole and in its different forms) and: (a) self-efficacy measures; (b) peer-interactions and (c) attitudes towards bullying and victimization. It also examined whether bully/victims are a distinct group in terms of the above-mentioned variables. The sample consisted of 448 4th to 6th grade primary education pupils (206 girls, 242 boys). The results of the study clearly indicate that self-efficacy measures, peer interactions and attitudes are associated with both bullying and victimization. In particular: (a) high self-efficacy for aggression is associated with both bullying and victimization, whereas high-self efficacy for assertion and for intervening in bully/victim situations is associated with lower scores on physical victimization for boys and girls respectively; (b) higher scores on positive interactions with peers are associated with lower scores on victimization and (c) higher scores on pro-bully attitudes are associated with higher scores on both bullying and victimization. Bully/victims seem to be a distinct group in terms of their strong pro-bully attitudes and their lack of positive interactions. They are also found to be similar to bullies with respect to self-efficacy for aggression but similar to victims with respect to self-efficacy for assertion. The results of the study are discussed in terms of their implications for school practice and intervention policy.