The Frequency of Peer Violence with Respect to Characteristics of Adolescents and Experienced Violence in the Family
Keywords:peer violence, domestic violence, gender differences, financial status
AbstractThis paper presents the results of the first survey of peer violence conducted in Croatia on a nationally representative sample. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of peer violence and characteristics of children who are involved in such violence in various ways. Special attention was given to the experience of domestic violence and its relationship to their involvement in bullying. The study included 3.470 children aged 11, 13 and 16 (fifth and seventh grade of primary and second grade of secondary school). The results showed that 64.1% of children are not involved in peer violence, 14.8% of them are victims, 6.3% perpetrators, and 14.8% are both victims and perpetrators. Peer violence increases with age when it comes to the number of pupils involved as perpetrators and victims-perpetrators, while the proportion of victims decreases after the seventh grade. Girls are more often victims and victims-perpetrators and are more involved in relational violence, while boys are more often involved in physical and verbal violence. There is a greater proportion of those who have below-average financial status in all groups of children who experience violence, while the perpetrators are more often children from families with an above-average financial status. The percentage of children who have experienced violence in the family is the smallest among children not involved in bullying and largest among victims-perpetrators. These results are discussed in the context of the findings of earlier research studies and potential risk factors for the involvement of children in peer violence.