Bully/victim problems and their association with Eysenck's personality dimensions in 8 to 13 year-olds

Br J Educ Psychol. 1997 Mar;67 ( Pt 1):51-4. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8279.1997.tb01226.x.


Background: Previous research which has investigated the association between bully-victim problems and Eysenck's personality dimensions has shown an association between victimisation and introversion and an association between bullying and psychoticism (Slee & Rigby, 1993).

Aims: The aim of the present study was to replicate these findings and to extend the investigation of the association between bully/victim problems and personality to children who are classified as both bullies and victims.

Sample and method: One hundred and seventy nine children ranging in age from 8 to 13 years (mean age = 11 years) completed the Bullying-Behaviour Scale and the Peer-Victimization Scale (Austin & Joseph, 1996), the Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC: Harter, 1985), and the Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ Junior: Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975).

Results: Forty-nine per cent of children were classified as involved in bullying either as bullies (11 per cent), victims (20 per cent), or bully/victims (18 per cent). Bullies scored lower on the lie scale, victims scored lower on the extraversion scale, and bully/victims scored higher on the neuroticism and psychoticism scales than children who were classified as not involved in bullying.

Conclusion: These data provide evidence that bully/victims are a distinct group from either bullies or victims and that they may be the group of children who are most readily distinguished in terms of personality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dominance-Subordination*
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Personality Development*
  • Social Behavior*