PROFILES OF BULLIES WHO BULLY CLASSMATES OF MINORITY ETHNIC GROUPS

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Discriminatory bullying is a phenomenon spreading throughout Europe, strongly characterized by the imbalance of power, since the victim belongs to a minority group (Elamè, 2013). A type of discriminatory bullying is bullying peers who belong to minority ethnic groups. Research on ethnic bullying has highlighted the damage to victims: greater suicidal ideation, consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs (Russell et al., 2012). Less is known about the profile of ethnic bullies. We aimed to investigate which characteristics differentiate young people of the society majority group who behave ethnic bullying, by considering risk factors related to the individual adjustment and the peer-group. Two hundred and sixty-four high-school students (77.3% girls; age: M=17.11, SD=0.95; non-Italians: 5.3%) answered self-report measures assessing: traditional and ethnic bullying, implicit prejudices, school climate, self-perception of peer-status, psychological adjustment (SDQ). In the analyses we considered only the 250 Italian pupils. Ninety-two youths have bullied at least occasionally: 49 bullied only Italians, 43 bullied also non-Italians, i.e., were ethnic bullies. Fifty-three were frequent bullies whose 23 were ethnic bullies. Controlling for the proportion of non-Italians in classroom (ANCOVAs), ethnic bullies showed higher implicit prejudices against non-Italian and disabled peers, and perceived to be more popular among peers than other bullies and non-bullies. In comparison to non-bullies, ethnic bullies were also less empathic and prosocial, had more problematic behaviors, and perceived to be more well-liked. In multilevel regressions, implicit prejudices towards non-Italians and perception of being popular distinguished ethnic bullies from the other bullies, furthermore perceived popularity buffered the association between prejudices towards disabled peers and being an ethnic bully, which was stronger for higher popularity. Having implicit prejudices emerges as the characteristic mostly distinguishing the profile of ethnic bullies. This result indicates that traditional anti-bullying programs, mainly focusing on group dynamics, can be not enough to fight ethnic bullying.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology
Pages323
Number of pages1
Volume2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology - Atene (Grecia)
Duration: 29 Aug 20191 Sep 2019

Conference

Conference19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology
CityAtene (Grecia)
Period29/8/191/9/19

Keywords

  • discriminatory bullying,
  • ethnic difference.

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