Peer aggression and victimization in Dutch elementary schools and sports clubs: Prevalence, stability, and approach across different contexts

Baar, P. & Wubbels, T.

PhD project
Finished: 2012

This research-project examined the interpersonal relationships regarding peer aggression, victimization, and prosocial behavior among Dutch children aged 9-12 in different environments: school and the sports club. The first aim of this study was to assess potential effectiveness of bullying prevention programs used in primary schools, by creating and evaluating an inventory of Dutch bullying prevention programs that have been developed and/or used for primary school students. The second aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and stability of peer aggression and victimization across sports clubs and elementary schools according to gender, sports participation (i.e., athletes versus drop-outs), and aggressive behavior roles (i.e., perpetrator, victim, aggressive victim, not involved). Self-reports were conducted in elementary schools among 1,534 students. The third aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and stability of peer aggression, prosocial behavior, and resource control strategies for children participating in three types of sports (martial arts, contact, and noncontact sports). Self-reports were gathered from 1,425 Dutch elementary school students who were participating in a sports club.The fourth goal was to examine Dutch sports coaches' views and practices on peer aggression and victimization among 10 to 13-year olds in sports clubs. 98 coaches from various sports were interviewed in depth about their views on peer aggression and victimization and their ways of handling these issues. Apart from coaches, we also interviewed a reference group of elementary school teachers to be able to put the coaches’ views in perspective.