Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Richard Berlach

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare bullied and non-bullied children in order to ascc1tain whether the two groups varied on specific self-concept factors. The theoretical position was that low self-concept was related to bullying and as such, bullied children would score lower on a stipulated self-concept test. The sample comprised fifty-three bullied and fifty-three non-bullied children from grades six to nine, selected from three large state city schools and six large state country schools with similar socio-economic status. The students were allocated to the "bullied" and "non-bullied" groups by class teachers using specified criteria. All fifty-three bullied children who agreed to participate were matched, where possible, for age and gender with fifty-three of the one hundred and twenty non-bullied children participating in the study. The design used was an ex post facto design where the bullied (experimental) group and the non-bullied (control) group already existed in situ and self-concept features of the two groups had already occurred. The two groups completed the Song and Hattie About Myself (1992) Self-concept Test. Means and standard deviations for the two groups were ascertained on seven self-concept factors: achievement self-concept, ability self-concept, classroom self-concept, peer self-concept, family self-concept, confidence and physical self-concept. The results of ANOVA tests showed significant differences between the bullied and non-bullied groups in achievement self-concept, classroom self-concept, peer self-concept, confidence and physical self-concept. Ability self-concept and family self-concept were not significantly different for bullied and non-bullied groups. Only confidence (lowest for bullied girls) was significant in gender differences. From these results it was concluded that a significant relationship existed between low self-concept and being bullied, and that victimisation was not gender-specific except for confidence in bullied girls. It was suggested that applying self-concept enhancement techniques aimed at boosting self-concept in bullied children might not only generate higher self-concept in those factors under consideration but possibly also remove bullied children as targets of bullying.

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