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Are some children more likely to bully than others?

The results of a study of Australian school children found that personality plays a very important part in the tendency to bully. The findings support the view that bullies are attention seeking, care little for others, are insensitive and have a positive view of violence. It did not find a link between low self-esteem and bullying. It was suggested that the bully might get a sense of power from humiliating others, and this would have the effect of maintaining the level of self-esteem (which is the same as other children).
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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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