To bully or not to bully, that is not the question: Western australian early adolescents' in search of a reputation

  • Houghton S
  • Nathan E
  • Taylor M
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Twenty-eight early adolescent boys and girls suspended from school for bullying provided accounts of the importance of reputation in their daily lives, specifically how they initiated, promoted, and then maintained their reputation through bullying. Overall, bullying was a deliberate choice perpetrated to attain a nonconforming reputation and was initially promoted through visibility of physical bullying.These actions became more covert, particularly among girls, during the promotion phase. Sex differences were most marked in the maintenance phase. Although both boys and girls used cyber bullying to deliberately induce a sense of apprehension and fear, boys also deliberately damaged their victim’s houses and gardens outside of school hours to induce a greater sense of fear and hence maintain their nonconforming reputation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • aggression
  • delinquency/crime
  • education/school
  • peers/friends

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  • Stephen John Houghton

  • Elijah Nathan

  • Myra Taylor

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