Bullying and peer acceptance among adolescents in selected high school in Lusaka district.

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Bedding, Tawonga David
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The University of Zambia
Bullying is defined as a negative action, physical, verbal, indirect or direct (Farrington, 1993). Literature has shown that bullying often occurs within a social context governed by peer group norms (Phiri, 2002). The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which bullying is related to peer acceptance among adolescents in selected private high schools in Lusaka district. In line with the aim it was hypothesized that there‟s a significant relationship between bullying/being bullied and peer acceptance in grade nine and ten pupils at two private schools in Lusaka district.This study saw bullying as an issue of major concern in schools among adolescents affecting them adversely. The specific objectives of the study where concerned with gender differences, forms of bullying and predicting peer acceptance. In an attempt to do this, two scales were adopted and used to collect data namely; the Illinois Bullying Scale and the self-perception profile for adolescent social acceptance subscale, measuring bullying and peer acceptance respectively. Guided by literature from Dijkstra (2007), Malemesa (2005) and Nabuzoka (1992), a social learning theoretical approach was used to further explain this assumed relationship. From a sample of 120 middle adolescents aged 12-17 (77 males and 43 females) randomly selected from two private schools, the researcher selected a non-experimental correlational design before data was analysed quantitatively in SPSS using an independent sampled t-test for the mean differences, for the forms of bullying, a Pearson‟s correlation for the assumed relationship and lastly, a simple linear regression for the prediction of peer acceptance. The results generated showed no significant gender differences, a variety of physical and verbal bullying, no significant relationship between bullying and peer acceptance and no significant result to give an accurate prediction. It was concluded that further research must consider other variables and more sensitization needs to be done on the ambiguous nature of bullying.
Harassment in schools , School violence , Bullying in schools , Bullying in schools--Prevention , Bullying--Prevention