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The role of basic psychological needs in bullying victimisation in the family and at school

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2021

Panagiotis Varsamis*
University of Macedonia, Department of Educational and Social Policy, Thessaloniki, Greece Youth Counseling Station of Western Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Helias Halios
Health Education Office for Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Georgios Katsanis
Experimental Senior High School of University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece
Apostolos Papadopoulos
Center for Differential Diagnosis, Diagnosis and Support of Eastern Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Address for correspondence: Panagiotis Varsamis, University of Macedonia, Department of Educational and Social Policy. 156 Egnatia Street, PC 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece. Email:


Bullying continuously attracts the interest of school communities, government policy makers and researchers. The present study enquires into the role of basic psychological needs in perpetrating and victimisation behaviour of children and youth in the social contexts of school and family in a cross-sectional research design. Specifically, this study focuses on the direct effects that basic psychological needs might have on bullying behaviour and bullying victimisation. It was found that basic psychological needs, forged in the relationships with family and school members, could predict bullying victimisation in each social context. Bullying perpetrations could be predicted only by bullying victimisation stemming from each social context, whereas bullying behaviours in school could also be directly predicted by the basic psychological needs developed in the family. Furthermore, path models verified the multiple influences of family functioning on school relationships. Findings of the present study may contribute to designing effective school interventions and to reforming antibullying guidelines for teachers and parents with respect to the basic psychological needs of the children or adolescents who have been victimised.

Original Article
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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