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Bullying as a style of personal relating: Personality characteristics and interpersonal aspects of self-reports of bullying behaviours among Italian adolescent high school students


Andrea Fossati, Servizio di Psicologia Clinica e Psicoterapia, San Raffaele Turro, via Stamira D'Ancona 20, 20127 Milano, Italy. Email:


Two independent studies that were based on two independent samples of non-clinical adolescents were used to evaluate the association between bullying behaviour, personality traits, attachment style and risk behaviour (such as substance abuse). In particular, Study 1 (N = 1024) was designed to test the associations between bullying and the Big Five personality traits measures. Low scores for Agreeableness and, to a lesser extent, for Conscientiousness characterized adolescents who reported the bullying behaviours. Study 2 (N = 763) was designed to explore the relationships between the bullying behaviours and the adult attachment construct and to evaluate the associations between bully, victim and prosocial attitudes and relationships with peers and substance abuse. The results of Study 2 showed that self-reports of bullying behaviours were selectively correlated with dismissing attachment style, preference for relationship with deviant groups and excessive use of alcohol and use of substances. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.