Predictors of prejudice - based bullying and defending behaviour: gatebull project’s findings from four European countries

Leyla De Amicis, Maria Sapouna, Roy Willems, Trijntje Vollink, Francine DEhue, Rastislav Rosinsky, Ioannis Dimakos, George Nikolaou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review


Prejudice- based bullying is an increasingly alarming phenomenon in Europe with scarce literature on the issue. Peer defending behaviour effectively decreases school- bullying but a limited number of child bystanders actually intervene in bullying situations. Literature on school bullying has mostly focused on intrapersonal (e.g. personal responsibility) and interpersonal factors (e.g. perceived peer norms) that facilitate or decrease peer bystander intervention. A small amount of research has explored intergroup variables (e.g. intergroup contact) involved in prejudice- based bullying and prejudice- based defending behaviour and even fewer studies have investigated these topics considering actual peer relations at school. The present study, part of
the EU-funded GATE BULL project, intended to provide empirical evidence about prejudice-based bullying, prejudice-based defending behaviour and their intra-, inter-personal and inter-group determinants examining actual peer relations among children from ethnic majority and minority groups in four European countries.

A cross-sectional study focused on general and prejudice- based bullying and defending behaviour was conducted in Scotland (UK), The Netherlands, Slovakia and Greece. Eight-hundred and eighteen children between the ages of 10-12 years completed a questionnaire. Children’s peer victimisation, peer perpetration and defending behaviour in general, and perceived as motived
by prejudice, were measured. Intra-personal, interpersonal and intergroup potential predictors of general and prejudice- based peer bullying and defending behaviour were also evaluated.

Data analyses were run per country and on aggregated data from all of the European sample. The contribution of individual, interpersonal and intergroup determinants of general and prejudice-based bullying and defending behaviour for ethnic- majority and minority children were examined and different patterns emerged.

These results underlined how whole school- interventions for preventing and prejudice- based bullying should consider needs and issues distinctively concerning ethnic majority and minority children. Challenges about investigating prejudice base bullying, measures and definitions of this construct will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2019
Event19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology - Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens, Greece
Duration: 29 Aug 20191 Sept 2019 (Conference website.)


Conference19th European Conference on Developmental Psychology
Abbreviated titleECDP 2019
Internet address


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