COPING WITH BULLYING IN SCHOOLS: VICTIMS' PERPECTIVE
Tay-Koay, S. L., National Technology University and Chua, B. H., Autistic Resource Center, Singapore
This objective of this exploratory study was to examine how primary school children who were victims coped with bullying in school. A total of 249 pupils participated in this study. Thee were 131 pupils form the Primary Four level (9 to 11 years old) and 118 pupils form the Primary Six level (11 to 15 years old). Among them were 134 males and 115 females. The data of the study were collected using a self-constructed questionnaire (Coping with Bullying in School Students' Questionnaire). This study seems to demonstrate that bullying may be a widespread problem in the schools surveyed. About half of the total number of the pupils (N=249) surveyed reported that they had been bullied more than once since the beginning of the school year. The seriousness of the problem was further emphasised by the vast majority of the pupils (76.3%) indicating that they had seen someone being victimised more than once since the beginning of the school year. The major types of bullying behaviour reported by the self-reported victims are names calling, teasing and laughing, and hurting others physically. In general, both male and female self-reported victims revealed that they were equally prone to be physically, emotionally and verbally hurt by their bullies. The self-reported victims and bystanders revealed that the bullies were usually taller and bigger than their victims and unanimously pointed to the classrooms and canteen as the two places where bullying most commonly occurred in school. The victims seem to show a tendency to seek support from their teachers and friends instead of family members when they were bullied in school. Although the pupils surveyed generally thought that the teachers were often unaware of who was being bullied, nearly half the number of pupils revealed that the teachers were of help when they were informed of bullying and would often do something to stop the bully from bullying another pupil.