Analysis of factors associated with bullying behaviour in the school environment
Keywords: Bullying. Kinanthropometry. Body image. Status. Physical education.
AbstractBullying is a collection of aggressive, intentional and repetitive attitudes that occur with no clear motivation, adopted by one or more students against one or more others, causing the victim pain, distress and suffering, and consequently leading to psychological problems. The objective of this study was to examine the kinanthropometric variables, body self-image and social status of students characterised as victims, aggressors/victims and aggressors with regard to bullying, based on the opinion of classmates, a questionnaire and researcher observation. The work was carried out with 337 students in the 6th. year of primary education in a public sector school in Greater Florianópolis, SC (Brazil). Assessment took place at three time points, first with application of silhouette and body image perception scales, secondly with kinanthropometric examination, and thirdly with the application of diagnostic techniques for bullying, by means of the questionnaire on violence among peers (Freire et al., 2006), a sociometric scale created by the author of the present study, and researcher observation. Statistical analysis involved Analysis of Variance with post-hoc Tukey, Chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis tests to identify differences between those students involved in bullying and correlations with Pearson and Spearman coefficients, p= 0.05 being accepted as significant. The incidence of students involved in bullying was 28.3%, with 14.1, 4.3 and 9.8 % of these victims, aggressors/victims and aggressors, respectively. Those involved were found to be significantly different in morphological and motor terms and in their status position within the school group. There was no difference among those involved in relation to perceived and ideal self-image, although it emerged that both the victims and the aggressors/victims would like to be physically larger, and that on average the aggressors were more satisfied with their body image. A correlation (r= 0.354; p= 0.010) was found between being involved in bullying and attitudes of bad behaviour and poor school performance. In some subjects in the school curriculum the grades measuring academic performance were more satisfactory for the victims (F= 4.645; p= 0.014). Finally, the profile of the victims presented lower values and levels for total body mass, lean mass, height, posture, physical aptitude especially in the tests that assessed physical strength, and the relationships that measure social status, in relation to the aggressors. We conclude that significant differences exist in kinanthropometric aspects and social status between victims and aggressors involved in bullying in the school environment.