Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Psychiatry

The Relationship between Behavioral Activation/Inhibition Systems (BAS/BIS) and Bullying/ Victimization Behaviors among Male Adolescents

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Psychiatry

The Relationship between Behavioral Activation/Inhibition Systems (BAS/BIS) and Bullying/ Victimization Behaviors among Male Adolescents

Article excerpt

Objective: This research was conducted to investigate the relationship between behavioral activation-inhibition systems and bullyingvictimization behaviors among adolescents.

Method: This was a correlational and cross-sectional study. Two hundred and thirty school boys were selected randomly by multistage cluster sampling method, and participated in this research. This sample responded to a demographic questionnaire, the Revised Olweus Bully/ Victim questionnaire and the child version of behavioral inhibition/activation systems Scale in their classrooms and in the presence of the researcher. The collected data were analyzed by Pearson's correlation and multiple regressions.

Result: The results showed that bullying and victimization were correlated with both behavioral activation and behavioral inhibition systems (p<0.01). The results also showed that 18% of the variance in victimization and 31 % of the variance in bullying were explained by behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation systems respectively .

Conclusion: The results of this study implied that BAS and BIS may play a role in the manifestation of bullying in adolescents.

Key words: Behavioral activation system (BAS), behavioral inhibition system (BIS), bullying, victimization, adolescents

Iran J Psychiatry 2013; 8:3: 118-123

Bullying behavior and peer victimization among adolescent school students have received increasing attention in the last years. Although some conflict and satirizing are normal among adolescents (1), bullying reveals a stable threat to children's psychosocial adjustment. Serious psychological, social, educational and behavioral outcomes of bullying have stimulated scientific investigations into the prevention and intervention of this problem. Bullying behavior is defined as an imbalance of power between two individuals, where the stronger individual repeatedly causes harm to the weaker individual (2). Adolescent bullying is a significant international problem (3) with as many as 100-600 million adolescents directly involved in bullying worldwide, each year (4). Moreover, bullying has been documented by anthropologists, studying modern hunter-gatherers (5) and historians, documenting past cultures (6).

The studies on bullying demonstrate that about 30% of the students are involved in bullying either as a bully or as a victim, or both a bully and victim (7, 8, 9). According to the data provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), of the 30% of the students involved in bullying, 13% reported that they actually bullied other students; 11% experienced bullying and 6% were involved in bullying either as a bully or as a victim (8). In another study, 8% of the students reported being bullied at least once a week. (10). In the different studies conducted in the United States, England, Germany, Finland and Australia, the frequency of bullying was reported to be in the region of 15% to 20% (11). On the other hand, in a study carried out by Greeff(2004), among 360 four to six grade students, 56.4% reported being bullied (12). In a study in Turkey, the results of Cartal (2009) on elementary school students showed that 79.6 % of students were bullied during the past month (13).

The causes of bullying are multiple; these causes relate to both personal factors as well as the social environment. It has been claimed that students who are physically stronger, more aggressive, more adventurous, and physically more active have an intrinsic tendency to bully. On the other hand, those students who are physically and emotionally weaker, more reserved, more unpretentious and not vindictive are likely to be the victims. When one investigates aggressiveness and family factors, it is easy to observe that the bullies come from families lacking role-models, problem solving skills and discipline and are exposed to violence and aggressive disciplinary techniques in their families (13). …

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