Nav: Home

Warm relationship between students and teachers can be linked to decreased bullying

October 13, 2016

Warm and caring student-teacher relationships can be linked to students' motivation to intervene in cases of bullying. Behind those who remain passive bystanders or accomplices to bullying there is often a conflict-filled situation between the student and the teacher. This has been shown in a new study recently published by psychologist Tomas Jungert from Lund University, Sweden.

Between 4 and 12 per cent of Swedish primary school students are or have been victims of bullying and are therefore at an increased risk of poor psychosocial health. It has been shown that an important way of combating this problem is for other students to intervene rather than remain passive bystanders. Tomas Jungert has studied what motivates some student to step in as saviours, and if there is a way to increase this motivation.

"I focused on the relationship between students and teachers to see how it links to various types of motivation to defend victims of bullying", says Tomas Jungert, who based his study on 400 Italian school children around the age of 12.

He distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is based on finding it meaningful and satisfying to help others, while extrinsic motivation is influenced by praise and other rewards.

The results from Tomas Jungert's study showed a connection between warm student-teacher relationships and the intrinsic motivation of students to defend victims of bullying.

"It could be a relationship where the teacher tries to be empathetic and get along with the student, rather than to issue threats of punishment", says Tomas Jungert.

There was, on the other hand, a link between conflicted teacher-student relationships and the students' extrinsic motivation to help victims of bullying but, as it turns out, it is the intrinsic, not the extrinsic, motivation that becomes significant in the defence of bullied students. Students driven by an extrinsic motivation, on the contrary, are more inclined to remain passive bystanders or even side with the bully when witnessing an act of bullying.

"Those who are driven by extrinsic motivation want to receive praise and perhaps increase their status within the group. In a situation of victimisation found in many schools, it is very plausible to assume that many students find it less risky and more profitable to associate with the bully, which is often a person with a lot of power", says Tomas Jungert.
-end-
Contact Tomas Jungert
Tel: +46 (0)705-56 96 25, 046-222 91 17
Email: tomas.jungert@psy.lu.se

Together with researchers Barbara Piroddi and Robert Thornberg, Thomas Jungert has published the article Early adolescents' motivation to defend victims in school bullying and their perceptions of student-teacher relationships: A self-determination theory approach. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140197116301233

Lund University

Related Bullying Articles:

Bullying and bias can cost schools millions in lost funding
When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states can lose tens of millions of dollars in lost funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe.
In organizations, bullying begets whining, study finds
In organizations, bullying within decision-making groups appears to go hand in hand with whining, according to a new study.
Childhood bullying linked to health risks in adulthood
Childhood bullying may lead to long-lasting health consequences, impacting psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular health well into adulthood, according to a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Bullying makes men leave the labor market
Men and women are almost at an equal risk of being bullied in the workplace, but whereas bullying often causes women to go on prolonged sick leave or use antidepressants, men often choose to leave the labor market altogether for a period of time.
Bullying rates remain higher for children with disabilities, even as they mature
A University of Missouri researcher and bullying expert has determined that children with disabilities are victimized by bullying at a much higher rate over time than their peers without disabilities.
More Bullying News and Bullying Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.