Anchoring Bullying and Victimization in Children Within a Five-Factor Model-Based Person-Centred Framework


Correspondence to: Marleen De Bolle, Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology, Ghent University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.



Although researchers have begun to explore bullying and victimization problems from a personality perspective, more work is needed on the particular personality constellations of children and adolescents who are vulnerable to victimization or prone to bullying. The principal research goal of the present study was to anchor the robust four-group classification of bullying and victimization (i.e. bullies, victims, bully/victims and uninvolved children) within the Five-Factor Model-based person-centred framework in primary school children (N = 660), controlling for gender. We found four distinct personality types in middle childhood: a mixed type, an undercontrolled type, a moderate type and a resilient type. In line with expectations, we found that a resilient personality profile protected children and adolescents against victimization and that children and adolescents with an undercontrolled or mixed personality profile were at increased risk to be bully/victims, rather than uninvolved in bully problems or victimization, compared with children with a moderate personality profile. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.