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Bullies and Their Mothers: Who Influence Whom?

Authors: Kostas A. Fanti, Stelios Georgiou


Even though most researchers would agree that in symbiotic relationships, like the one between parent and child, influences become reciprocal over time, empirical evidence supporting this claim is limited. The aim of the current study was to develop and test a model describing the reciprocal influence between characteristics of the parent-child relationship, such as closeness and conflict, and the child-s bullying and victimization experiences at school. The study used data from the longitudinal Study of Early Child-Care, conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The participants were dyads of early adolescents (5th and 6th graders during the two data collection waves) and their mothers (N=1364). Supporting our hypothesis, the findings suggested a reciprocal association between bullying and positive parenting, although this association was only significant for boys. Victimization and positive parenting were not significantly interrelated.

Keywords: bullying, parenting, reciprocal associations, victimization

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