n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Peer victimisation in public schools : an exploration of the psychosocial attributes of victims

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The data presented in this article originated from a school safety research project which was aimed at the victim in school violence. The study was exploratory and the situation of the victim was investigated with the following general question as guideline: "What are the main attributes of victims of peer aggression in the sample?" The quantitative-descriptive survey design was selected for this study and the researcher had to rely on data forthcoming from a self-report survey (questionnaire). The survey results revealed that a substantial number of victims of peer aggression displayed negative feelings about their experience of school life and that peer victimisation was related to poor interpersonal relationships with other learners. With respect to individual characteristics, the self-reported victims apparently tended to have a lower self-esteem; were prone to depression; were predisposed to relatively high levels of anxiety and exercised poor self-restraint. The findings emphasised the fact that a lack of participation in religious activities, the apparent absence of strong family bonds and a lack of sharing mutual activities, with caregivers not being available after school and parents unwilling to render support with schoolwork were factors that often related to peer victimisation.

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