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n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Peer victimisation in public schools : a comparison of the psychosocial attributes of victims and non-victims

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Abstract

The survey results of the study revealed that more than half (53.1%) of the participants were subjected to peer victimisation at school, whereas a lower percentage (46.9%) were never victimised. Male respondents in the younger age groups, in the junior grades (Grades 6, 7 and 8) and white and coloured learners were more likely to become victims of peer aggression at school. Respondents in the victim group reported considerably higher incidences of loneliness at school, school avoidance and feelings of unsafety in the school environment than the participants in the non-victim group. Findings on the peer relations indicated highly significant differences in the responses of the victim and non-victim groups. The incidence of social isolation and difficulty in gaining social acceptance by peers at school was considerably higher in the victim than in the non-victim group. The ease with which learners who were not victimised made new friends differed significantly from the ability of respondents in the victim group. With respect to individual characteristics, the victims apparently tended to have a lower self-esteem; were prone to depression and were predisposed to relatively high levels of anxiety and exercised poor self-restraint. Findings about the family background showed significant differences between the two groups. More participants among the victimised learners, for example, shared family meals on an irregular basis than non-victims. A slightly higher percentage of the respondents in the victim group, than among the non-victims reported that there was adult supervision at home after school in the afternoon. About twice as many participants in the victim group, than in the non-victim group indicated that they were only children.

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/content/crim/19/3/EJC28913
2006-01-01
2016-12-05
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