School Bullying Is Not a Conflict: The Interplay between Conflict Management Styles, Bullying Victimization and Psychological School Adjustment

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

3 Citations (Scopus)


It has been argued that adaptive conflict management styles may protect students against bullying victimization and against negative effects of ongoing victimization on psychological school adjustment. Moreover, maladaptive conflict management styles may lead to victimization or intensify negative effects of victimization on school adjustment. Mediation and moderation models were computed to test these effects. Furthermore, a person-oriented approach compared noninvolved students, victims, and bully-victims regarding conflict management styles and school adjustment. A total of 172 individuals (77.2% female, mean age: 22.7 years) completed a retrospective online questionnaire about conflict management styles, bullying victimization and school adjustment during their school years. In the mediation model, conflict management styles were not associated with victimization, but there was a positive direct effect of the integrating style on school adjustment. In the moderation model, the integrating style moderated the negative effect of victimization on school adjustment but did not buffer against the negative effects when victimization was high. Person-oriented comparisons showed that victims used the obliging style more often than bully-victims. Furthermore, victims and bully-victims showed lower school adjustment than noninvolved students. Overall, results corroborate the view that school bullying is qualitatively different from normal peer conflicts. Implications for researchers, policymakers, school principals and teachers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11809
Pages (from-to)11809
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2022


  • bully-victims
  • bullying
  • conflict management
  • integrating
  • psychological adjustment
  • psychological maladjustment
  • school violence
  • victimization
  • Bullying/psychology
  • Humans
  • Peer Group
  • Male
  • Young Adult
  • Crime Victims/psychology
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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