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Understanding ringleader bullies' socio-motivational characteristics: The role of social goals and functions of aggression.

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Eirini Kipritsi, Constantinos M. Kokkinos


The present study examines the role of social goals of ringleader bullies on school bullying according to Social Information Processing Model as well as the role of proactive and reactive aggression. The sample consisted of 222 fifth-grade and sixth-grade elementary school students from Northern Greece, who completed self-report questionnaires and responded to questions regarding social scenarios of ambiguous intent shown on video. The results showed that boys choose revenge more often than girls. Furthermore, ringleader bullies and ringleader bully followers choose more often, than the uninvolved, revenge as a motive in a social scenario of ambiguous intent. It is noteworthy that ringleader bullies choose more often than ringleader bully followers the social goal of building a relationship, while both ringleader bullies and ringleader bully followers adopt both forms of aggression, proactive and reactive, more than the uninvolved. The findings underline the motivational role of social goals in bullying, contribute to the discussion regarding ringleader bullies’ social cognition and emphasize the necessity of intervention programs focusing on social motives of preadolescent bullies.


social information processing; ringleader bullies; social goals;


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