Explicit- and Implicit Bullying Attitudes in Relation to Bullying Behavior

A.A.J. van Goethem*, R.H.J. Scholte, R.W. Wiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The main aim of this study was to examine whether an assessment of implicit bullying attitudes could add to the prediction of bullying behavior after controlling for explicit bullying attitudes. Primary school children (112 boys and 125 girls, M age = 11 years, 5 months) completed two newly developed measures of implicit bullying attitudes (a general Implicit Association Test on bullying and a movie-primed specific IAT on bullying), an explicit bullying attitude measure, and self reported, peer reported, and teacher rated bullying behavior. While explicit bullying attitudes predicted bullying behavior, implicit attitudes did not. However, a significant interaction between implicit and explicit bullying attitudes indicated that in children with relatively positive explicit attitudes, implicit bullying attitudes were important predictors of bullying behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-842
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2010


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