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Journal Article


Salmivalli C, Lappalainen M, Lagerspetz KMJ. Aggressive Behav. 1998; 24(3): 205-218.


(Copyright © 1998, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






The stability of participant roles in the bullying process was explored during a 2-year period among 189 eighth-grade students in 17 school classes in Finland. This was a subsample of students taking part in an earlier study [Salmivalli et al., 1996a]. In addition to studying stability per se, the impact of social environment on adolescents' behavior was explored. This was done, first, by comparing a group of adolescents who had moved to a new class with others whose current class consisted of their former classmates, with respect to stability in their social behavior. Second, regression analyses were conducted in which the behavior of adolescents' current peers was used as a possible predictor of their social behavior, along with their own sixth-grade behavior. The results showed a moderate consistency in the participant roles the students take on. Some gender-related findings emerged: for instance, the occurrence of bullying showed more stability among boys than among girls, and girls but not boys showed consistency in the tendency to defend the bullied victims. Especially among girls, the behavior of current peers was in many cases an even better predictor of how they tended to behave in bullying situations in the eighth grade than was their own former behavior.


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