University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

  • Maria Sapouna
  • Dieter Wolke
  • Natalie Vannini
  • Scott Watson
  • Sarah Woods
  • Wolfgang Schneider
  • Sibylle Enz
  • Ruth Aylett
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-240
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Early online date23 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


Background. There is still relatively little research on the social context within which bullying develops and remains stable. Aim. This study examined the short-term stability of bullying victimization among primary school students in the United Kingdom and Germany (mean age, 8.9 years) and the individual and social network factors that contributed to remaining a victim of bullying. Sample. The sample consisted of 454 children (247 males and 207 females). Methods. Participants completed questionnaires on bullying victimization at three assessment points over a 9-week period. Other measures consisted of self-reported demographic, peer, and family relationship characteristics. Social network indices of density, reciprocity, and hierarchy were constructed using friendship and peer acceptance nominations. Results. Relative risk analyses indicated a six-fold increased risk of remaining a victim at consequent follow-ups, compared to a child not victimized at baseline becoming a victim over the follow-up period. Individual characteristics explained substantially more variance in the stability of bullying victimization than class-level factors. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that being victimized by siblings and being rejected by peers predicted remaining a victim over a 9-week period. Conclusions. Bullying victimization among primary school students proved moderately stable over a 9-week period. Individual characteristics were more influential in predicting the stable victim role than class-level factors. Our findings have implications for the identification of stable victims in primary school and early preventative bullying programs.

ID: 948794