Bullying in schools: social support and coping strategies of Irish and non-Irish secondary pupils

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Vengova, Maria
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the research project was to investigate the relationship between bullying, levels of social support, preferred coping strategies and nationality of post-primary pupils. Social support was previously identified as an important determinant of the involvement in bully/victim problems and also in the choice of a coping strategy in the incidence of bullying (e.g., DeLongis & Holtzman, 2005). Although there are numerous studies exploring involvement in bully/victim problems, research regarding the coping mechanisms of those involved in bully/victim problems has not received as much attention (Juvonen & Graham, 2001). A correlational survey of 104 post-primary students was conducted (n1=70 Irish; n2=34 non-Irish). Respondents completed a demographic questionnaire, the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (BVQ: Olweus, 1989), the Brief COPE (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989), and the Social Support Questionnaire - Short Form (SSQSR: Sarason, Sarason, Shearin, & Pierce, 1987). Statistically significant relationships were found (i) between social support scores and selected questions of the BVQ (Olweus, 1989), (ii) within the subscales of coping, and (iii) between the coping strategies and social support scores. No differences were found between the scores of the Irish and non-Irish students. Results were interpreted in relation to previous literature and research in the area and methodological limitations and suggestions for future studies are suggested.