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Are some children more likely to be bullied than others?

This Australian study (Slee and Rigby 1993) involved 87 boys from primary school. It found that personality played a big part in being bullied. In particular, a strong link was found between being bullied and being quiet and shy (introverted). It is pointed out here that an introverted child might well feel uncomfortable in a group. As a result he/she might prefer to spend time alone. It is suggested that this 'staying apart' might also increase the chances of being bullied. In addition to the link between being bullied and introversion, this study also found a strong link with low self-esteem. What was surprising, was that the anxiety levels of the victims in this study were not found to be significantly higher than those of the other children (bullies and others).
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Article details

P Slee and K Rigby (1993) 'The Relationship of Eysenck's Personality Factors and Self-esteem to Bully-Victim Behaviour in Australian Schoolboys' in 'Personality and Individual Differences', Volume 14, Number 2, pp 371-373.
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Author details

Ken RigbyKen Rigby is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Psychology and an educational consultant at the University of South Australia. He has been involved in major studies of bullying in Australia and has published widely on this topic. For more information about Dr Rigby and his work see the bullying pages here. Ken may be contacted by e-mail.
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