Being different: correlates of the experience of teasing and bullying at age 11

Sweeting, H. and West, P. (2001) Being different: correlates of the experience of teasing and bullying at age 11. Research Papers in Education, 16(3), pp. 225-246. (doi: 10.1080/02671520110058679)



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The public stereotype, largely supported by a rather diverse range of literature, is that bullied children differ from their peers in respect of attributes such as appearance, disability or school performance. In this paper we explore the characteristics of such victims in a way which is both more comprehensive than previous studies and in addition, considers and accounts for possible inter-relationships between variables. Self-report data on teasing and bullying (found to be strongly inter-related) were obtained from a large, school-based sample of 11 year-olds, with additional descriptions and ratings of the children from their parents, class teachers and nurses. Experience of teasing/bullying did not differ according to race, physical maturity or height, but was more likely among children who were less physically attractive, overweight, had a disability such as a sight, hearing or speech problem, and performed poorly at school. These factors were not only significant regardless of sex and social class, but also independent and thus additive in their effects. Characteristics of appearance, disability or ability which in themselves may be difficult to deal with also increase the likelihood that a child will experience the additional burden of being bullied.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Sweeting, H., and West, P.
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Research Papers in Education
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2001 Routledge
First Published:First published in Research Papers in Education 16(3):225-246
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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