Attachment to Parents and Peers as a Parameter of Bullying and Victimization
PublisherHindawi Publishing Corporation
SourceJournal of Criminology
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The purpose of the present study was threefold. First, we tried to investigate whether the quality of attachment with parents and peers predicts bullying and victimization. Second, we also attempted a moderation analysis in order to examine whether the relationship between quality of attachments and bullying is moderated by the child’s gender. Finally, we explored whether there are significant differences in the quality of attachment between children identified as bullies, victims, bully/victims, and uninvolved. The participants were 303 fifth and sixth grade children with a mean age of 11.06 years that completed the Revised Bullying and Victimization Questionnaire and the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment. The results showed that poor quality of attachment with parents and peers predicts bullying and victimization. Moderation analysis revealed that the link between quality of attachment and bullying and victimization is significantly stronger for girls. Also, as hypothesized, bullies and bully/victims manifest the worst quality of attachment with parents and peers. The results are discussed with the framework of attachment and aggression theory, exploring the pathways that explain the association between poor attachment and externalizing problems during late childhood.