Bidirectional association between normative adjustment and bullying perpetration in adolescence: A prospective longitudinal study

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Published 01-07-2023
Eva M. Romera Manuel Carmona-Rojas Rosario Ortega-Ruiz Antonio Camacho

Abstract

Normative adjustment stimulates the development of attitudes and behaviours that promote school climate. Previous research has shown that it is a relevant factor in preventing involvement in risk behaviours that affect the quality of peer relationships in classrooms and schools. Previous the development of behaviour adjusted to the norms which promotes interaction processes fostering a positive atmosphere in the classroom and in the school. The aim of this study is to analyse the prospective influence of normative adjustment on bullying perpetration over four time periods spaced six months apart (18 months). A total of 3017 adolescents between 11 and 16 years (49.5% girls; MAgeT1 = 13.15, SD = 1.09) are involved in the present study. The Random Intercept Cross-Lagged Model results indicate an influential bidirectional association between normative adjustment and bullying perpetration over time. When the adolescents’ normative adjustment increases, their involvement in bullying perpetration decreases six months later. On the other hand, when the adolescents’ bullying perpetration increases over time, a decrease in normative adjustment is evident later. The unconditional univariate growth results report that normative adjustment increases, while bullying perpetration decreases. These findings are discussed in terms of the need to consider contextual factors and how they interact in our understanding and prevention of bullying in schools.

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