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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


MATOS, Margarida Gaspar de  and  GONCALVES, Sónia M. Pedroso. Bullying in schools: behaviors and perceptions. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2009, vol.10, n.1, pp.3-15. ISSN 1645-0086.

The present study was intended to investigate bullying behaviours among public school students in Portugal. It specifically aimed to analyse the connection between different types of bullying behaviour (as simultaneously provoked and provoking) and some behavioural predictor variables (alcohol/drug use and weapon carrying) and cognitive/perception variables (perceived life satisfaction and perception of school security). The data was collected from the Portuguese HBSC (Health Behaviour in School Aged Children) Database as regards 2002. The (representative) sample is composed of 6131 adolescents in primary and secondary education, namely in 6th, 8th and 10th grades (M = 14 years, SD = 1.85). Each had to answer a questionnaire on a series of behaviours, beliefs and attitudes as far as health is concerned. The pupils feel themselves provoked and say that they provoke others by different forms. The results point out that the more pupils perceive school to be unsafe and the more unsatisfied they are with their lives, the more they claim to be victims of bullying and aggressors. The same pattern holds true for weapon carrying and alcohol and drug use. It is important to underline that different types of bullying share the same predictors; however, their specificity and singularity should be carefully considered for intervention purposes. Bullying in school is a worldwide problem; therefore, it is a serious issue one must be concerned about. The findings of this study are expected to raise the awareness of students, school teachers, parents and carers about this problem. Moreover, with this work we expect the bullying phenomenon to start being considered within a complex dynamics of causality that urges to be addressed in an integrated way.

Keywords : Aggressor; Bullying; School; Victim.

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