The powerhouse for bullying : the relationship between defensive self-esteem, bullying and victimisation
Studies which examine conflict have identified coping strategies as potent variables for the social competencies of children. To extend these ideas to more specific indicators of social adjustment this study examined emotional impairments and coping strategies of victims and bullies. Inventories measuring emotional impairment: depression, anger, anxiety and self-concept were completed by 103 primary school children aged 9-11. A questionnaire measured five coping strategies: problem solving, social support seeking, distancing, externalising and internalising. Bully and victim nominations identified almost 5 times as many male bullies compared to girls therefore findings which specifically relate to bullying refer to boys only. Emotional impairments were identified as predictory variables for bullying and victimisation particularly for boys where anger was identified as moderating the relationship between externalising and bullying behaviour while anxiety was identified as a mediating variable between problem solving and victimisation. Findings here also suggest that all children learn how to cope with negative emotions through their experiences with adults. For bullies internalisation as a result of poor experiences during problem solving with adults makes problem solving with peers less likely.