“It is far safer to be feared than loved”: Why do some individuals become bullies and others bully-victims?

  • Author / Creator
    Leenaars, Lindsey S
  • Although a wide range of theories have been applied to the study of bullying and victimization, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1993, 2002), has not as of yet been applied to the study of bullying behaviour. The present study employed Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to assess a model of traditional and cyberbullying and bully-victimization based on TPB. The preliminary objectives of the present study were to evaluate the frequency of traditional and cyberbullying and bully-victimization in the present sample, and to assess whether there were sex differences in the different roles and forms of bullying. It was found that overall, 11.08% of participants were classified as traditional bullies, 10.56% as cyberbullies, 13.21% as traditional bully-victims, and 10.56% as cyberbully-victims. Sex differences were found in traditional bullying and bully-victimization with boys reporting higher levels than girls, but not in cyberbullying or bully-victimization. The main goal of the present study was to evaluate a model of traditional and cyberbullying and bully-victimization based on TPB, which included the following factors: psychological adjustment, self-concept, attitude and beliefs, behavioural control, behavioural intention, and bullying behaviour. It was hypothesized that although the model would be similar for bullies and bully-victims, it would also differ for the two groups. The final models, which were different for the various bullying roles (i.e., bully versus bully-victim) and forms of bullying (traditional versus cyber), fit the data well. However, although the final model accounted for 40% of the variance in traditional bullying and 34% of the variance in traditional bully-victimization, it only accounted for 0.05% of the variance in cyberbullying and 0.06% of the variance in cyberbully-victimization. The results were discussed in relation to TPB and previous findings. Limitations and directions for future research were also addressed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Psychological Studies in Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Mrazik, Martin (Educational Psychology)
    • da Costa, Jose (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Bosacki, Sandra (Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education)
    • Boechler, Patricia (Educational Psychology)