Responding to staff concerns about anti-social behaviour among students (n = 311, 50.5% boys, age range 13-16 years) at a low socio-economic Adelaide metropolitan school, we investigated victimisation and bullying and associated patterns of thinking. Two instruments were administered: the How I Think Questionnaire, which measures self-serving cognitive distortions; and the Bullying Experiences Questionnaire, which requires students to rate victimisation and bullying. The study revealed that: levels of distorted thinking were high; the most frequent forms of victimisation and bullying were verbal, indirect and physical; there were low levels of more extreme forms of victimisation and bullying; and there were higher levels of cognitive distortions among bullies and bully-victims. The research confirms the role of distorted thinking in the enactment of anti-social and bullying behaviours and provides a contemporary update of the types of victimisation/bullying in an Australian secondary school in 2011. Implications for interventions using social-cognitive approaches are addressed.
- Anti-social behaviour
- Cognitive distortions
- Social-cognitive interventions