Understanding the cycle of violence: An examination of bully and victim social roles in early childhood

Emily Elizabeth Branscum, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of bullying and victimization in a metropolitan area. A cross-sectional study with kindergarten (n = 127) and first grade (n = 126) children was conducted in two Miami-Dade County Public Schools and three private schools in the same area. Bullying and victimization behavior and social acceptance were assessed through peer nomination and the mental health outcomes of depression and anxiety were assessed through children's self-report. Teachers and parents also completed a social behavior scale for each child. Three areas of analyses were conducted pertaining to membership classification of social roles and the social acceptance and mental health outcomes associated with those roles, reporter agreement within the social roles, and the psychometric properties of the Childhood Social Behavior Scale. Results showed an overall negative pattern of adjustment for children identified as a member of any of the negative social roles. Also, the results support a new analytic approach to the investigation of social roles. The implication of these findings for early identification, social policy, and effective prevention strategies are discussed.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Behaviorial sciences|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Branscum, Emily Elizabeth, "Understanding the cycle of violence: An examination of bully and victim social roles in early childhood" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3017319.