Table of Contents
Journal of Criminology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 301658, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/301658
Research Article

Assessing Bully/Victim Problems in Preschool Children: A Multimethod Approach

1Department of Special Education, University of Thessaly, Argonafton & Filellinon, 38221 Volos, Greece
2Department of Primary Education, University of Thessaly, Argonafton & Filellinon, 38221 Volos, Greece

Received 1 March 2013; Revised 20 May 2013; Accepted 29 May 2013

Academic Editor: Byongook Moon

Copyright © 2013 Maria Vlachou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Studies addressing the issue of bullying during the preschool period are still extremely rare. The main aim of the present research was to study the prevalence rates of bullying in preschool children using a multimethod approach. Participants were 167 preschool children (ages 4–6) and 8 classroom teachers. Measures were four forms of bullying: verbal, physical, and relational bullying and rumour spreading. Data were collected through peer nominations, self- and teacher reports, and natural observations. Results have shown that the frequencies of bullying episodes vary greatly according to the source of information. Moreover, agreement between informants was either nonsignificant or moderate. This is extremely important when conducting relevant empirical research with preschool populations. It is probable that inconsistent results obtained in previous research may be due to the selection of one or another source of information. It is of primary importance to design methodological tools that are both valid and reliable if prevention programs against victimisation are to be consistent and effective.