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Bullies and victims in schools in central and southern Italy


Anonymous questionnaires assessing the amount and nature of bullying/victimization were given to 1379 primary and middle school pupils (8–11; 11–14yrs) in two towns of Central and Southern Italy, Florence and Cosenza. The questionnaire closely followed the design of Olweus (1991) and Whitney and Smith (1993). Results were analysed in terms of percentages of bullying others and being bullied, types of bullying behaviour, where it occurred and who were the perpretators. Bullying was reported in both Italian areas at a more substantial level than found in other countries, including Norway, England, Spain and Japan, although it presented similar structural features to those reported elsewhere: being bullied decreased in older pupils, bullying others was most likely to be admitted by boys, the perpetretators were in the same class as the victims. Considering direct and indirect forms of bullying, year and gender differences are discussed for the two Italian areas and in cross-national perspective.

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The project was made possible by the co-operation of the Department of Psychology of Florence University (Italy), the Department of Psychology of the University of Sheffield (U. K.), the Department of Educational Sciences of Calabria University (Italy) and the financial support of Prof. A. Fonzi and Dr. M.L. Genta (Department of Psychology, Florence University, Italy).

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Genta, M.L., Menesini, E., Fonzi, A. et al. Bullies and victims in schools in central and southern Italy. Eur J Psychol Educ 11, 97–110 (1996).

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Key words

  • Bullying/victimization
  • Direct/indirect aggression
  • Year and gender difference