Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 419–428 | Cite as

Relationship of the Family Environment to Children's Involvement in Bully/Victim Problems at School

  • V. Stevens
  • I. De Bourdeaudhuij
  • P. Van Oost


Previous studies regarding the relationship of the family environment to children's involvement in bully/victim problems at school primarily focused on children's perceptions of family dimensions. No studies were known using data from multiple reporters within 1 family (parents and children) on family characteristics of bully/victim problems. The aim of this study was to investigate differences between families of victims, bullies, bully/victims, and noninvolved children on family functioning, child-rearing practices, and problem-solving strategies in hypothetical conflict situations and perception differences between children and their parents on those dimensions. The findings revealed important perception differences between children and their parents, with parents holding up a more positive picture of their family. Important differences between families of bullies, victims, and bully/victims were documented looking at the family functioning and parent–child interactions from the perspective of the children. In contrast, almost no differences between the groups were observed if parents' reports were considered. Discussion leads to suggestions for further antibullying interventions at the school.

bullying behavior victimization family environment health promotion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Stevens
    • 1
  • I. De Bourdeaudhuij
    • 2
    • 3
  • P. Van Oost
    • 4
  1. 1.Flemish Institute of Health PromotionBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sport SciencesGhent UniversityBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of Psychology, Research Group Health and BehaviorBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Behavior Therapy and Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium

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