Original scientific paper
Peer Violence and Coping Strategies in Primary School Children
Centre of Mental Health, Široki Brijeg
Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Mostar, Mostar, BIH
Fulltext (croatian, pages 23-40).pdf
Researches have mainly dealt with the examination of coping strategies for victims, not taking into account the other roles in peer violence. Therefore, the aim of this research was to examine whether male and female students differ while choosing coping strategies in peer bullying due to their age and role in bullying behavior.
Participants in this study were 372 fifth and eighth grade elementary school students (192 female and 180 male) aged 10 to 14 years (mean age 12.30 years). The School Relationship Questionnaire –SRQ was used to examine different forms of bullying behavior. To determine coping strategies, we used the Self-Report Coping Measure - SRCM (Causey & Dubow, 1992).
Based on the results of the SRQ questionnaire, four groups of examinees were formed with regard to their role in peer bullying behavior: victims, bullies, bully/victims and neutral. Coping strategies that respondents most frequently used when coping with peer bullying were as follows: Focusing on the problem and seeking social support, Internalizing, Distancing and Externalizing. Compared to male students, female students were significantly more likely to use strategies of Focusing on the problem and seeking social support, as well Internalizing. In terms of coping with peer bullying, victims, bullies and bully/victim were using Internalizing and Distancing more often than the neutral group. Externalizing was used more often by victims, bullies and bully/victims than by the neutral group, as well as bullies from victims. Significant age effects are gained for Focusing on the problem and Seeking of social support strategies, as well as Externalizing. Fifth grade students benefited more by using Focusing on the problem and Seeking social support then eighth graders, whereas eighth grade students were using Externalizing significantly more often.
The results indicate that all participants in peer bullying, regardless of their role, preferably use less adaptable strategies in dealing with peer bullying.
bullying, coping strategies, role in bullying behaviour