Abstract

Peer bullying and victimization are a widespread phenomenon among school-age children and can have detrimental effects on the development of children. To examine whether having a close companion during childhood increases or decreases risk of victimization and bullying, this study compared twins to singleton children. A large group of twins (n = 9,909) were included who were compared to their related non-twin siblings (n = 1,534) aged 7-12 from the Netherlands Twin Register, thus creating optimal matching between twins and non-twins. Bullying and victimization were each based on a four-item scale filled out by their teachers. Prevalence rates for either bullying or victimization did not differ between twins and singletons. In total, in the past couple of months, 36% of children bullied peers moderately to severely, and 35% suffered moderately to severely from victimization. Boys were more likely to bully and were more prone to becoming a victim than girls. The most notable finding is that female twin pairs placed together in the same classroom did not bully more often, but were victimized less often, thus pointing to a protective effect of having a close companion in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

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Bullying
Crime Victims
Twin Studies
Child Development
Netherlands
Siblings

Keywords

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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title = "Bullying and Victimization: The Effect of Close Companionship",
abstract = "Peer bullying and victimization are a widespread phenomenon among school-age children and can have detrimental effects on the development of children. To examine whether having a close companion during childhood increases or decreases risk of victimization and bullying, this study compared twins to singleton children. A large group of twins (n = 9,909) were included who were compared to their related non-twin siblings (n = 1,534) aged 7-12 from the Netherlands Twin Register, thus creating optimal matching between twins and non-twins. Bullying and victimization were each based on a four-item scale filled out by their teachers. Prevalence rates for either bullying or victimization did not differ between twins and singletons. In total, in the past couple of months, 36{\%} of children bullied peers moderately to severely, and 35{\%} suffered moderately to severely from victimization. Boys were more likely to bully and were more prone to becoming a victim than girls. The most notable finding is that female twin pairs placed together in the same classroom did not bully more often, but were victimized less often, thus pointing to a protective effect of having a close companion in the classroom.",
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author = "Veldkamp, {Sabine A M} and {van Bergen}, Elsje and {de Zeeuw}, E.L. and {van Beijsterveldt}, {Catharina E M} and Boomsma, {Dorret I} and Meike Bartels",
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Bullying and Victimization : The Effect of Close Companionship. / Veldkamp, Sabine A M; van Bergen, Elsje; de Zeeuw, E.L.; van Beijsterveldt, Catharina E M; Boomsma, Dorret I; Bartels, Meike.

In: Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 20, No. 1, 02.2017, p. 19-27.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bullying and Victimization

T2 - The Effect of Close Companionship

AU - Veldkamp, Sabine A M

AU - van Bergen, Elsje

AU - de Zeeuw, E.L.

AU - van Beijsterveldt, Catharina E M

AU - Boomsma, Dorret I

AU - Bartels, Meike

PY - 2017/2

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N2 - Peer bullying and victimization are a widespread phenomenon among school-age children and can have detrimental effects on the development of children. To examine whether having a close companion during childhood increases or decreases risk of victimization and bullying, this study compared twins to singleton children. A large group of twins (n = 9,909) were included who were compared to their related non-twin siblings (n = 1,534) aged 7-12 from the Netherlands Twin Register, thus creating optimal matching between twins and non-twins. Bullying and victimization were each based on a four-item scale filled out by their teachers. Prevalence rates for either bullying or victimization did not differ between twins and singletons. In total, in the past couple of months, 36% of children bullied peers moderately to severely, and 35% suffered moderately to severely from victimization. Boys were more likely to bully and were more prone to becoming a victim than girls. The most notable finding is that female twin pairs placed together in the same classroom did not bully more often, but were victimized less often, thus pointing to a protective effect of having a close companion in the classroom.

AB - Peer bullying and victimization are a widespread phenomenon among school-age children and can have detrimental effects on the development of children. To examine whether having a close companion during childhood increases or decreases risk of victimization and bullying, this study compared twins to singleton children. A large group of twins (n = 9,909) were included who were compared to their related non-twin siblings (n = 1,534) aged 7-12 from the Netherlands Twin Register, thus creating optimal matching between twins and non-twins. Bullying and victimization were each based on a four-item scale filled out by their teachers. Prevalence rates for either bullying or victimization did not differ between twins and singletons. In total, in the past couple of months, 36% of children bullied peers moderately to severely, and 35% suffered moderately to severely from victimization. Boys were more likely to bully and were more prone to becoming a victim than girls. The most notable finding is that female twin pairs placed together in the same classroom did not bully more often, but were victimized less often, thus pointing to a protective effect of having a close companion in the classroom.

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