Bullying Victimisation and Aggressive Traits among At Risk Female Adolescents: A Case Study in a Malaysian Welfare Home
The present study was conducted to better understand aggressive traits and experiences of bullying victimisation amongst a group of at risk female adolescents in a welfare home setting. The objectives of this study were to determine if the presence of aggressive traits in victims provoke bullying, and to explore their experiences of bullying within a setting where their bullies also reside. The sample consisted of fifty two female adolescents, aged between 13 and 18 years old, from one children’s welfare home in Perak. A self-administered questionnaire and focus-group interviews were used to collect data. As a group, the adolescents scored higher in all subdomains of aggression, particularly hostility; compared to the norm reference. Mann-Whitney U test indicated significant differences in the subdomains physical aggression, verbal aggression, and hostility; between adolescents who had experienced bullying victimisation and those who had never been bullied. 71% of the adolescents in the welfare home were bullied which evidences an extraordinarily high bullying prevalence. 62% of the incidents were committed by people whom victims knew, further suggesting proximity is a critical concern. Victims reported the prevalence for different types of bullying: emotional and physical either on its own or simultaneously. While physical abuse was found at 29% prevalence, participants’ separate disclosure as part of police enquiry reported that it was the most memorable with vivid recollection of experience and lingering trauma which informs intervention for bullies and victims. 60% of victims kept silent; their responses disclosed disbelief in any meaningful action by caretakers. The findings herein contribute to the body of knowledge on bullying in welfare home settings that occur in Malaysia.
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