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Schuster, Beate (1999): Outsiders at School: The Prevalence of Bullying and its Relation with Social Status. In: Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Vol. 2, No. 2: pp. 175-190




This article examines the prevalence of bullying on a group (school-class) level, the impact of data sources (self vs. other nominations) on victim identification, and the relation between bullying and rejection by peers in two samples from different types of schools (n = 930). I found that each school class typically contained one or two victims, who were best identified by peer reports, which proved to be highly consensual and distinct, and correlated closely with teacher reports. The simultaneous use of peer and self-reports allowed me to identify `defensive' as well as `sensitive' victims, i. e. individuals who were nominated via one data source only. Finally, a positive correlation between rejection and bullying was found, reflecting the fact that almost all bullied students were simultaneously rejected. In contrast, not all rejected students were victimized. That is, two subgroups of rejected individuals were identified: `Victimized-Rejected' and `Nonvictimized-Rejected'. The findings are discussed with respect to the possibility of generalizing insights from the sociometric literature to the phenomenon of bullying.