Factors contributing to bully behaviour among APU pupils in selected high schools in lusaka district, Zambia

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Sitali, Martha Macwani
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The purpose of this study was to investigate factors contributing to bully behaviour among Academic Production Unit (APU) pupils in some selected high schools in Lusaka district. The study also attempted to establish whether selfconcept is a mediating factor between social competence and bully behaviour and whether bullying varies according to gender and type of school. Causes of bullying were discussed in focus groups of 6 to 10 pupils.A total of 98 pupils were sampled 45 of whom were female and 53 were male.In addition, four class teachers, four school co-ordinators and four school managers were sampled using the cluster sampling method while stratified sampling method was used to sample one class from each high school.To measure self-concept, two questionnaires were designed: one for the selfrating of self-concept by the pupils and the other for the class teachers' rating of the pupils' self-concept. Each of these questionnaires contained 10 items which measured independent action, a broad range of feelings and emotions and approach to new challenges. Findings showed that factors such as socioeconomic,family background, peer pressure, body size and weak school administration were the major factors contributing to behaviours associated with bullying. Correlations between teachers' ratings and pupils' self ratings were significant. Both teachers and pupils scored bullies as having low self-concepts. This indicated an association between low self-concept and bullying although a causal relationship was not investigated. The self-concept measure was compared between boys and girls and between single sex and co-education school pupils. Co-education schools generally reported low self-concepts among the pupils than single sex schools.Proportionally, more boys reported a lower self-concept than girls. These findings are discussed as indicating possible causes of bullying in relation to gender and type of school.The study recommended among others, that school managers should design tailor-made programmes and counselling sessions for pupils who exhibit bully behaviour in schools. The Ministry of Education should also develop a deliberate policy that will inspire pupils to build their self-concept in many areas.
Bullying -- Zambia , School children -- Discipline