2008 › Trails



Bullying and popularity: Victimisation and suicide ideation in the TRAILS study: specific vulnerabilities of victims

Authors: Herba CM, Ferdinand RF, Stijnen T, Veenstra R, Oldehinkel AJ, Ormel J, Verhulst FC

Background. Scientific studies have provided some support for a link between being a victim of bullying and suicide ideation. We examine whether (1) parental psychopathology and (2) feelings of rejection (at home and at school) exacerbate vulnerability to suicide ideation in victims of bullying (pure victims and bully-victims). Methods. Data were from a population-based cohort study of Dutch children (n=1526, mean age=12.29 years). Using peer nominations, three groups were established: (1) victim only; (2) bully-victims (children who are victims and who also bully others); (3) uninvolved. Self-report data on suicide ideation were obtained using two items from the Youth Self-Report (Achenbach, 1991). Parental internalising and externalising disorders were assessed, as were self-reported feelings of rejection at home and social well-being among classmates. Results. The association between victimisation and suicide ideation was moderated by parental internalising disorders (but not externalising disorders) and feelings of rejection at home. Victims (but not bully-victims) with parents with internalising disorders reported elevated levels of suicide ideation compared to children uninvolved in bullying. Victims feeling more rejected at home also reported more suicide ideation. There were no overall sex differences in suicide ideation. Surprisingly, bully-victims did not report higher levels of suicide ideation compared to children uninvolved in bullying. Conclusions. Parental internalising disorders and feelings of rejection at home confer a specific vulnerability for suicide ideation among victims of bullying.

Bullying and popularity: Beyond the Classroom Norm: The Influence of Bullying of Popular Adolescents on Peer Acceptance and Rejection

Authors: Dijkstra JK, Lindenberg SM, Veenstra R

Research has shown that the extent to which behavior occurs in a class (the class norm) is influential on the way that this behavior is associated with peer acceptance and peer rejection. In this research we investigated how much of a roll bullying-behavior of popular boys in the class (popularity norm) plays in the extent to which bullying is connected to either peer acceptance or peer rejection. More specifically, we compared the average bullying-behavior of popular boys in the class with the average of bullying-behavior of non-popular boys in the class, and this in interaction with individual bullying-behavior.
The data originate from a sub-sample of peer nominations from TRAILS (N=3312). Results of multilevel regression analysis shows that the negative effects of bullying on peer acceptance, and the positive effects on peer rejection, decrease in classes where popular children are involved in bullying. This study suggests that the involvement of popular boys in bullying decreases the negative effect of bullying on peer acceptance and peer rejection. The average bullying behavior is less important in this respect.

Bullying and popularity: Spijbelen aan het einde van het basisonderwijs en het begin van het voortgezet onderwijs: De invloed van sociale bindingen en zelfcontrole

Authors: Tinga F, Veenstra R, Lindenberg S

The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the prevalence of truancy at a relatively early age and to investigate to what extent such risk behavior can be predicted by social bonds (Hirschi, 1969) and self-control (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). In late elementary education, 13 per cent of the children were reported to be occasional truants. Two years later, this percentage had risen to 19 per cent. With the aid of multinomial logistic regression, we simultaneously examined the influence of various predictors. An important finding is that self-control, when it is included in the model together with several control elements, has no direct influence on truancy or non-truancy. The two control elements included in the model – attachment (to parents and teachers) and moral beliefs in rules – do have an effect on truancy. Children with a disadvantaged social background fall into the truancy group to an above-average degree. (This article in only in Dutch).