Characteristics of Bullies and Victims among Incarcerated Male Young Offenders

Connell, Anne, Farrington, David and Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930 (2016) Characteristics of Bullies and Victims among Incarcerated Male Young Offenders. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 8 (2). pp. 114-123. ISSN 1759-6599

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Purpose: The main aim of this research is to investigate the characteristics of bullies and victims in Canadian institutions for young offenders. The second aim is to investigate to what extent it is possible to develop risk scores that can predict who will become a bully or a victim.

Design/methodology/approach: 185 male young offenders aged 16-19 in nine Ontario facilities were individually interviewed about their bullying and victimization, and two standardized inventories were completed.

Findings: Compared with non-bullies, bullies had spent longer in their present facility, had been bullies in a previous facility, had more previous custodial sentences, had been suspended or expelled at school, and expressed aggressive attitudes. Compared with non-victims, victims were socially isolated in custody, had failed a grade in school, had been committed to a psychiatric hospital, had been victims in a previous facility, had fewer previous custodial sentences, and were less likely to express aggressive attitudes.

Originality/value: This article shows that bullies and victims can be accurately identified based on risk factors including aggressive attitudes.

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