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ERIC Number: EJ886210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
The Association between Adolescents' Beliefs in a Just World and Their Attitudes to Victims of Bullying
Fox, Claire L.; Elder, Tracey; Gater, Josephine; Johnson, Elizabeth
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v80 n2 p183-198 Jun 2010
Background: Research which has investigated children's attitudes to bullying has found that the majority of children display anti-bullying attitudes. However, a small minority of children do appear to admire the bully and lack sympathy for victims of bullying. The just world belief theory has received a great deal of attention in recent years with evidence emerging in support of a two-dimensional model distinguishing between beliefs in a just world (BJW) for self and BJW for others. BJW-self (and not BJW-others) has been found to uniquely predict psychological well-being, whereas BJW-others (and not BJW-self) uniquely predicts harsh social attitudes and derogation of victims. Aim: The aim of the present study was to measure BJW-self and others in a sample of UK secondary schoolchildren and to see whether BJW-others can account for adolescents' negative attitudes towards victims of bullying. Sample: In total, 346 pupils aged 11-16 years of age (270 males, 76 females) from two schools took part in the study. Methods: The participants completed measures of BJW-self and others, attitudes to victims of bullying, empathy, and self-esteem on a whole class basis. Results: It was found that BJW-others uniquely predicted adolescents' attitudes to victims but in the opposite direction to that which was predicted--high BJW were associated with stronger anti-bullying attitudes. As predicted, BJW-self (but not BJW-others) was positively and uniquely correlated with self-esteem. Conclusion: The findings are discussed in the context of research which has found that the direction of the relationship between BJW-others and derogation of victims appears to depend on the nature of the injustice, with people with strong BJW less tolerant of severe injustices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom