Offending, Victimization, and Double Involvement: Differences and Similarities between the Three Profiles1

Article excerpt

Abstract

Bullying in schools is associated with several factors such as the individual, family, peers, school, and community. Some recent studies showed that the main social contexts (i.e., family, friends, classmates and teachers) have an indirect impact on risk behaviors through their impact on personal factors. The purpose of this paper is to develop an explicative model for bullying, where the main social contexts have an impact on school satisfaction and subjective health complaints, that have a direct impact on bullying. Three models with a different dependent variable were developed to find the differences and similarities of these predictors on offending, victimization and double involvement in bullying. The results show that the determinants of these behaviors are different. It seems that school satisfaction is more important for offending and double involvement. Subjective health complaints appear as a risk factor for the three profiles. Teachers are the most important protective factor for school satisfaction, and classmates and family seem to have an important protective impact on subjective health complaints. Implications for intervention are further discussed.

Keywords: bullying, victimization, offending, double involvement

Introduction

Disruptive behaviors include different forms of aggression and violence. These behaviors are associated not only with illicit drugs use and traffic, urban, racial and xenophobic violence (Delles, 2001; União Europeia, 2001), but also to anxiety and behavioral disorders (Frick, Bodin & Barry, 2000; Hill, 2002; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan & Mericle, 2002). It becomes therefore important to know the determinants of these behaviors during adolescence, across different life contexts. Several theories and models have been developed to explain disruptive behavior. There are several perspectives focusing on various human characteristics explaining this behavior: (1) Individual perspectives outlining genetic, physiological, psychological, cognitive or behavioral characteristics (Barkauskiene & Bieliauskaite, 2002; Frick, et al., 2000; Hill, 2002; Matos & Simões, 2003; McBurnett, Naguib & Brown, 2000; O'Connor, Neiderhiser, Reiss, Hetherington & Plomin, 1998); (2) Interpersonal relationships perspectives, that draw attention to the influence of family and to the association with peers with similar antisocial behaviors (Hill, 2002; Lahey, Gordon, Loeber, Stouthamer- Loeber & Farrington, 1999; Shoemaker, 1996; Tiêt & Huizinga, 2002); (3) Social perspectives that highlight the influence of socioeconomic and social organization features on disruptive behavior development. Despite the value of all these perspectives, and the knowledge that they brought to disruptive behavior understanding, it is now widely recognized that these behaviors are determined by the interaction of several domains factors. In this respect, integrative perspectives, such as Patterson, Debaryshe and Ramsey's model (Patterson, Debaryshe & Ramsey, 2000) or Lahey, Waldman and McBurnett's causal model (Lahey, Waldman & McBurnett, 1999), claim that an antisocial behavior is the result of several factors and mechanisms. Although each of these theories approach specific processes in disruptive behavior development, all of them highlight the influence of significant life contexts in childhood and adolescence, namely family, peers and school (Simões, 2005, 2007). Regarding family, these theories show that a secure attachment and good communication, democratic rules and effective parental monitoring on adolescent behaviors are the key elements of a protective family environment. On the other hand, violence, difficulties in communicating, no rules or no supervision in the family can be a potential risk context for problem behavior development. The same can be said regarding peer influence or the impact of school. Supportive peers that have negative attitudes towards disruptive behavior can act as protection, but friends can probably also be a risk factor. …