Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 63–76 | Cite as

Bullying and victimisation in school children: the role of social identity, problem-solving style, and family and school context

  • Tony CassidyEmail author


The relationship between social identity, family and school context, problem-solving style, self-esteem, health behaviour, psychological distress, and victimisation, was explored in a quasi-experimental survey of 461 children aged between 11 and 15 years old. There was a high prevalence of victimisation (29%) in the group and 44% of those victimised scored above the clinical cut-off on the GHQ. Victims exhibited higher levels of psychological distress, lower self-esteem, more unhealthy behaviours, less support from parents and teachers, poorer problem-solving styles, and lower perceived social identity. Girls had a higher prevalence of victimisation than boys. The best predictors of victimisation were sex, family situation, social identity and problem-solving style. Some implications for interventions are discussed.


Victimisation Bullying Social identity Psychological distress Coping 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of UlsterDerryNorthern Ireland

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