Back to Page Authors: Małgorzata Wójcik, Radosław Kaczan, Piotr Rycielski, Karolina Malinowska, Malgorzata Wojcik

Keywords: bullying, bullying prevention, victimization, cyberbullying, coping strategies, peer group exclusion

Abstract: Bullying is a universal phenomenon observed in schools around the world. In order to understand this phenomenon it is important to consider group context as a critical factor for bullying prevention. The aims of presented study were to investigate school bullying as a group process and to understand how Polish adolescents perceive and make sense of bullying in their schools. Fieldwork was carried out at five public secondary schools in a city in southern Poland. In-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 students aged 16/17 (16 girls, 14 boys) were conducted. The interview data were then analyzed with thematic analysis. The results suggest that relational and cyberbullying is the greatest problem for adolescents as it threatens their social position and destroys their self-esteem. It also causes peer group rejection, which contributes to increased victimization over time. Moreover adolescents find relational and cyber-bullying especially difficult to report to teachers or parents because of its ambiguity and the feeling of shame. In terms of policy implications, the findings suggest that adolescents should participate in planning anti-bullying programs. They could clarify the contexts, situations, or triggers which lead to bullying.