European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 105–123 | Cite as

Expression of self-concept and adjustment against repeated aggressions: the case of a longitudinal study on school bullying

  • Barbara Houbre
  • Cyril Tarquinio
  • Jean-Baptiste Lanfranchi
Article

Abstract

Bullying between students in the school setting is an increasing problem. Bullying can be defined as any form of repeated mental or physical violence carried out by one or several individuals on a person who is not capable of defending himself (Roland and Idsoe, Aggress Behav 27:446–462, 2001). The aim of this paper is to observe the expression of self-concept and adjustment strategies developed by children subject to this kind of violence. Five hundred twenty-four students between the ages of 8 and 12 (m = 9.44) participated in the longitudinal study. Two measurements were made during the same school year at an interval of 6 months. The results show that the student victims of bullying present weaker self-conceptions than the control group. Recourse to avoidance strategies would be dominant among student victims of bullying. Moreover, recourse to “avoidance” type strategies would lead to an increase in the frequency of bullying while recourse to “approach”-type strategies would lead to a reduction in it. Furthermore, it would seem that recourse to avoidance strategies at T1 lowers the student’s self-concepts at T2. The opposite effect is observed with the approach strategies. These different results emphasize the necessity to establish prevention programs which allow an intervention simultaneously on the level of the school, the family, and the student.

Keywords

Adjustment Bullying Self-concepts Repeated aggressions among students 

Résumé

Les agressions entre élèves en milieu scolaire constituent un problème grandissant. Le bullying peut être défini comme toutes formes de violences physiques ou mentales répétées, effectuées par un ou plusieurs individus sur une personne qui n’est pas capable de se défendre elle-même (Roland and Idsoe 2001). Cette étude a pour objectif d’observer l’expression des concepts de soi et les stratégies d’ajustement mises en place auprès des enfants impliqués dans ce type de violence. 524 élèves âgés de 8 à 12 ans (m = 9.44) ont participé à l’étude longitudinale. Deux mesures ont été réalisées au cours de la même année scolaire à 6 mois d’intervalle. Les résultats montrent que les élèves victimes d’agressions répétées présentent des conceptions de soi plus faibles que le groupe contrôle. Le recours aux stratégies d’évitement serait dominant auprès des élèves victimes de bullying. En outre, le recours aux stratégies de type «évitement» conduirait à une augmentation de la fréquence des agressions alors que le recours aux stratégies de type «approche» conduirait à une diminution de celle-ci. Par ailleurs, il semblerait que le recours aux stratégies d’évitement à T1 vienne dégrader les concepts de soi de l’élève à T2. Nous observons l’effet inverse avec les stratégies d’approche. Ces différents résultats soulignent la nécessité qu’il y a à instaurer des programmes de prévention permettant une intervention simultanée au niveau de l’institution, de la famille et de l’élève.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Houbre
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cyril Tarquinio
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jean-Baptiste Lanfranchi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University Paul VerlaineMetzFrance
  2. 2.Université Henri Poincaré Nancy 1NancyFrance
  3. 3.Université Paris DescartesParisFrance

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