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Children's understanding of the participant roles taken in peer-victimisation

Children's understanding of the participant roles taken in peer-victimisation

Monks, Claire P. ORCID: 0000-0003-2638-181X and Smith, Peter K. (2008) Children's understanding of the participant roles taken in peer-victimisation. In: International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, July 2008, Wurzberg, Germany. (Unpublished)

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Research has indicated that there are some notable differences in the nature of peer-victimisation in preschool compared with ‘bullying’ as identified in older groups. However, one difficulty in making these comparisons has been that none of the methodologies employed with preschoolers are directly comparable with those used with older children.

AIMS: This study developed a new methodology to enable comparisons between the peer-nominations given by 5 year olds and 8 year olds. Consistency and test-retest reliability of peer nominations for each age group was examined. Agreement between peer, self and teacher reports for children aged 5 and 8 years was assessed.

METHOD: 68 five year olds and 69 eight year olds and their teachers from a school in South-East England took part in the study. Children’s peer- and self- nominations and teacher nominations for the Participant Roles of aggressor, reinforcer, assistant, defender, outsider and victim (passive and provocative) were examined.

FINDINGS: The findings suggest that 5 year olds are less able than 8 year olds to agree upon and reliably nominate their classmates for roles other than aggressor (and provocative victim to a degree). There was some agreement between peers and teachers at 8 years, but that younger children’s peer nominations did not show a consistent relationship with teacher-nominations. Self nominations at either age did not show a clear relationship with either teacher or peer nominations.

CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that these findings may reflect either children’s developing abilities to identify and report these perhaps less obvious behaviors or the developing nature of peer-aggression, becoming more group-related with age. We explore these findings in relation to children’s developing cognitive abilities and the development of social relationships during early childhood.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: bullying, peer-victimisation, participant roles, primary school children
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:12

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