Lifelong Learning Programme

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Aggression, victimization and emotions in adolescence in school and leisure contexts
Martins, Maria José D.
Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre
Portalegre, 2009
School bullying
This research aimed at: comparing experiences of aggression and/or victimization that occur in school with those that occur during leisure and free times in two regions of Portugal; comparing frequency of those experiences in the academic year 00/01 and the academic year 07/08 in the same school; understanding the role emotions play in the victim and in the perpretator. To collect data a questionnaire was used with behaviours described in the first person (self-portrait) to avaluate aggression and victimization, while an emotional competence questionnaire was used to evaluate emotions, specifically the competence: to perceive and understand emotions in others, to express and name emotions, and to refulate and manage own emotions. Results show that experiences of aggressiona and victimization are more frequent at school than during leisure times, especially in what concerns less serious displays; that victims seem to have harder times in regulating and managing emotions than aggressors and those that do not involve themselves; and that aggressors are not different from those that do not involve themselves in regard to the several dimensions of emotional competence evaluated. This topic should be further studied given the popularity of emotional education in recent years.
School is one of the locations where young people spend a great part of their lives and it should therefore be a safe place and a healthy environment where each individual may develop their own potential intellectually, affectively and socially. However, there are hundreds of children who daily suffer violence within the school walls and this may cause them lasting physical and/or psychological harm.
This research study will therefore help teachers and educators to understand the slightest signs of violence and intimidation that so often take place inside school environments. It is one of the aims of this research study to develop educators’ awareness to the fact that they can and they should interfere when children get angry with one another.
Though peer aggression in school contexts has recently become a major concern, there are almost no studies that compare the frequency and type of misbehaviour that occur at school with those that occur during leisure activities, i.e. outside school. Thus one might find out which forms of aggression are higher within the school context and which during leisure activities. This is useful to determine which strategies to use. The first step to act against, fight off and prevent violence and negative discrimination in school is to make parents and educators aware that they need to teach children respect for others, tolerance towards the other, respect for difference as not synonymous with inferior. The ongoing dialogue of teachers with students is also of extreme importance in fighting off school violence.
The research study also fosters a deeper understanding of those issues that may clarify the role of emotional competence in victims and perpetrators. Schools are invited to reinforce students’ emotional competences, in particular with regard to regulation and management of emotion, since emotional competence may well be an effective way to help victims deal with aggression. The lack of competence to regulate and manage emotions, such as fear, sadness and anger may well render children more vulnerable to victimization. If parents and teachers promote an adequate emotion management in children and adolescents, this may constitute an adequate strategy to dissuade agressors and to empower the victim to look for help or to defend him/herself effectively from aggression. This type of research study has the aim of raising awareness to this kind of problems among hedmasters, teachers and parents so that aggressive behviour decreases through action plans and training for all those involved in contexts where aggression occurs.
Name of Compiler
Catarina Louro
Name of Institution
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco
Role in the institution
Junior Researcher

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.