, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 599-616
Date: 19 Jul 2013

Social Bonds and School Bullying: A Study of Macanese Male Adolescents on Bullying Perpetration and Peer Victimization

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Abstract

Background

School bullying research on Macanese adolescents is limited. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China with over 95 % of the population is of Chinese descent. Yet, Macanese people are under substantial Western influences.

Objective

Using a two male-only school sample of 365 participants aged between 10 and 17 years, this study explores the role of different social bonds, as theorized in Hirschi’s (Causes of delinquency. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1969) social control theory, in bullying perpetration and peer victimization at school.

Methods

The participants’ bullying behaviors (i.e., bullying perpetration and peer victimization) and social bonds are measured using the University of Illinois Bully Scale and Victimization Scale, and Chapple et al.’s Social Bonding Scale.

Results

Overall, school bullying behaviors are positively related to theft and violent delinquency. Particularly, bullying perpetration is negatively correlated with different social bonds. Multivariate analyses indicate that an increase in age and organizational involvement, but a decrease in educational commitment and belief in the legal system are likely to increase the tendency to engage in bullying perpetration. Conversely, a decrease in age and the presence of paternal criminality are significantly related to being victimized at school.

Conclusions

Several implications for social service, from a social bonding perspective, are suggested by way to reduce the propensity to engage in bullying behaviors, particularly bullying perpetration at school.