Reputational orientations and aggression: extending reputation enhancement theory to upper primary school aged bullies

Elijah Nathan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

263 Downloads (Pure)


The research reported in this thesis investigated the reputational orientations and aggressive behaviour of primary school aged bullies. It also sought to determine whether the reputational orientations of bullies who were loners differed to those who had established friendship networks. To achieve the research aims four separate yet inter-related studies were conducted. Study One explored the construct of reputation and its relevance to the bullying behaviours of 23 male and 23 female Grade 5 (10 year old) children from eight separate primary schools. All of these children had been suspended from school because of their bullying. Semi structured interviews revealed that reputation was an important construct to bullies, primarily because of the feelings of strength, power, and social status attributed to them by others as a result of their bullying. They also reported that the type of image and status they attained from bullying others was what they were actively seeking. To achieve their desired image different types of overt and covert bullying acts were perpetrated. The bullies also revealed that they carefully selected the physical locations where they bullied others so as to maximize the visibility of their actions to others. The school oval, playground and toilets were the most popular locations, but the use of new media such as mobile phones and the internet allowed them to bully others without the presence of an audience. The bullies also reported that their victims communicated what had happened to them to others, which disseminated their actions to a wider audience. It was clearly evident from Study One that the construct of reputation was important to bullies and was worthy of further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Reputational orientations and aggression: extending reputation enhancement theory to upper primary school aged bullies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this