Constantinos M Kokkinos, Εκφοβισμός, Προσωπικότητα και Δεσμός Προσκόλλησης σε Μαθητές Προεφηβικής Ηλικίας, Προσχολική & Σχολική Εκπαίδευση, 3|2015, 53-79

Bullying has been recognized as a serious problem in many countries, including Greece, with an increasing number of empirical studies investigating the phenomenon in Greek schools. Bullying has been linked to specific personality traits and attachment style. However, to date, relatively little is known about the association between bullying and the Big Five personality factors. Hence, the purpose of the current study is to examine the relationship among bullying, personality (Five Factor Model) and attachment style in a sample of Greek preadolescents. Furthermore, the present research aims to study the various forms of bullying (physical, direct and indirect relational, verbal, behavioral) in order to investigate whether participation in different forms of bullying is related to the same personality characteristics. Overall, 282 students (43,3% girls) attending the last two grades of Greek public elementary school took part in the study. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire measuring bullying, Big Five personality factors and attachment style. Results indicated that participants reported primarily more indirect relational, physical and verbal aggression. Specifically, approximately one quarter of the sample was classified as bullies, while the rest were uninvolved. Data analysis showed that boys participated more frequently in bullying, reporting more direct relational, physical and verbal aggression, and less indirect relational and behavioral aggression compared to girls. Compared to the uninvolved, bullies scored lower on Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and higher on Emotional Instability. Of special interest was the finding that a high percentage of both bullies and uninvolved participants reported secure attachment style. Further analyses showed that, in terms of gender, most of the bullies reporting secure attachment were boys. However, no statistically significant gender differences in personality traits were evident for this group. Additionally, results indicated that many uninvolved students reported insecure attachment. Particularly, uninvolved girls with insecure attachment reported more Emotional Instability and Agreeableness compared to boys. Correlation analyses for the total sample showed that all forms of bullying were positively associated with Emotional Instability, and negatively with Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Openness to Experience. Therefore, involvement in different bullying forms was independent of participants’ personality traits. Findings are discussed in terms of prevention and intervention strategies regarding bullying, with practical suggestions including the reinforcement of positive personality traits in bullies, curricular changes, as well as individualized intervention programs for those involved.

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