Bullying and victimization at school: The role of mothers
AuthorGeorgiou, Stelios N.
SourceBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
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Background. Social learning literature is used in order to describe the contextual parameters of peer aggression, and specifically bullying and victimization. Aim. The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of maternal characteristics on their child's victimization or bullying experience at school. Sample. The participants were 252 elementary school students (mean age 11.5 years) and their mothers. Method. A theoretically driven model was developed and its ability to fit the data was tested. The main factors included in the model were the following: parental style as perceived by the child, self-reported parental involvement, the mother's emotional state and the degree of victimization experienced by the child at school. Results. Through confirmatory factor analysis, it was shown that maternal responsiveness was positively related to the child's adjustment at school (i.e. achievement and social adaptation), while the same factor was negatively related to school aggression (bullying and disrupting behaviour). Overprotective mothering was associated with high degrees of victimization experienced by the child, whereas maternal depressiveness was related to both victimization and bullying behaviour on the part of the child. Conclusions. Parents should be included in the design of intervention plans aiming at the elimination of bullying at school. © 2008 The British Psychological Society.