• Understanding right from wrong: A quantitative study exploring accidental bullying in British school children.

      Boulton, Michael; Pritchard, Jessica (University of Chester, 2018)
      This study aimed to investigate a controversial new sub-type of bullying known as accidental bullying, which claims to explain why some children and young people can unknowingly bully others. This study did this by exploring possible causes including individual’s abilities to recognise bullying, and levels of kindness and moral disengagement. A total of 421 participants (females: n = 19, males: n = 180, undisclosed: n = 48) completed questionnaires within Primary and Secondary British schools. The data was subjected to several forms of analyses that included Pearson’s correlations, simple linear regression’s, a hierarchical multiple regression, and a series of two-way between subjects ANOVA’s. The findings identified that 84 % of the participants had previously accidentally bullied, and that primary school students were more likely to accidentally bully than secondary school students. In addition to this, an individual’s poor ability to recognise bullying behaviours was found as a significant negative predictor of accidental bullying. Furthermore, if individuals have low levels of kindness and high levels of moral disengagement, they are more likely to have a poor ability to recognise bullying behaviours. In conclusion, this study identified that it is possible that accidental bullying is taking place within British schools at a higher frequency than traditional bullying. Future studies may wish to further understand the complexities of accidental bullying to support educators to identify and address this often hidden form of bullying.