Children's negative affective reactions to bullying disclosure: a sociocognitive analysis

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    One way to reduce the negative effects of bullying is to stop bullying. A variety of prevention and intervention programs have been introduced into schools with the aim of reducing bullying. An important part of these programs involves encouraging children to report bullying. However, disclosure levels remain low. The psychological consequences of non-disclosure include internalising problems such as depression. Therefore, this study investigated factors that inhibit children’s reporting of bullying. It examined children’s affective reactions to and selfperceived reasons for non-disclosure. Ninety-six children (48 boys and 48 girls), White (86.5%) and Asian (7.3%), from two age groups (8 and 11 years) participated. Results revealed that children from both age groups believed they would feel more distressed about non-disclosure than disclosure of bullying. These distressed reactions were stronger for bully-victims than for other children. Qualitative data revealed that children’s lack of disclosure was most strongly related to the anticipated burden such disclosure would place on a confidant and their concern about how the disclosure would be handled. Although children may disclose bullying, how they feel about this disclosure and whether they continue to disclose will depend on the confidant’s reactions. Implications for training those people to whom children may disclose are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)244-244
    Number of pages1
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventAnnual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society (42nd : 2007) - Brisbane
    Duration: 25 Sept 200729 Sept 2007


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