Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News News articles

‘Bullied children see social relationships through dark-colored glasses’

05 April 2022

Children who are bullied view social relationships more negatively than children who are not bullied, according to research by sociologist Sanne Kellij and colleagues. The research was recently published in the scientific journal Adolescent Research Review.

Dark-colored glasses

Kellij examined how bullied children view social relationships by means of a so-called systematic review. She analyzed 142 previously conducted studies and found that children who are bullied think more negatively about social relationships than children who are not bullied. Kellij: ‘Bullied children feel rejected more easily and have the feeling that they cannot count on help from others. They are also more likely to think that others have mean intentions and are more concerned about negative evaluations of others. In short, they see social relationships through dark-colored glasses.’

Two sides

Kellij emphasizes that some caution is needed when interpreting the results of her study. Whether being bullied leads to a more negative view of social relationships or whether that negative view actually is a precursor of being bullied, is not clear yet. ‘It could be that bullying causes children to become more sensitive, so that, for example, jokes are not received as such and things like an accidental push are more quickly seen as deliberately mean behavior. It could also be that children who react more negatively to a joke run a greater risk of being bullied, because others find their reaction over the top.’

Taking it seriously

According to Kellij, it is very important that the feelings of bullied children are taken seriously. ‘Research shows that many children who self-report that they are being bullied are not seen as victims by classmates or teachers. But what matters most is how these children feel. I think it is important to take children seriously when they say they are being bullied. Have a conversation with them and ask what specific things made them feel so bad and what would help them. Also, it is a good idea to have a conversation with the person who is being reported as a bully and try to make them aware of how the victim is feeling.’

Information

Sanne Kellij

Kellij, S., Lodder, G.M.A., van den Bedem, N., Güro─člu, B., & Veenstra, D.R. (2022) ‘The Social Cognitions of Victims of Bullying: A Systematic Review’. Adolescent Research Review .

Last modified:29 August 2022 10.02 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 10 May 2023

    More loneliness among elderly with a migration background

    Older migrants, particularly elderly Moroccan and Turkish people, feel more lonely than elderly people without a migration background. Rowan ten Kate’s study shows that it is a consequence of feelings of loss towards the homeland and disappointing...

  • 09 May 2023

    Do you have a manager from hell?

    There’s a good chance that you will encounter one at some point: a manager who seems to be targeting you or one of your colleagues. Organizational psychologist Barbara Wisse is researching this behaviour, which can quite literally make you sick,...

  • 18 April 2023

    Nardi Steverink helps older people get more grip on life

    Healthy and happy ageing is not simply a question of good genes, but also of taking control of your life, as is apparent from the research of sociologist Nardi Steverink. To help people in this process, she developed the GRIP en GLANS (Grip and...