Exploring the relationship between personality and bullying; an investigation of parental perceptions

Brenna Schroeder, Mary Morris, Malcolm Flack

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objectives: The current study explored if parents perception of bullying was influenced by the traits of narcissism, emotional intelligence, victim sensitivity and entitlement and also examined the relationship between reporting and perceptions of bullying. This study also examined if narcissism and entitlement differed between Gen Y and Gen X parents. 

    Method: Parents of primary school aged children (N = 124) interpreted whether the behaviour in scenarios constituted bullying. Parents responded to questions assessing the four personality variables and reported if their child had experienced bullying. 

    Results: Narcissism, victim sensitivity and entitlement were associated with the propensity of parents to perceive behaviour as bullying. Furthermore, entitlement was uniquely associated with this propensity. A positive relationship was established between broader perceptions of bullying and the reporting of incidents. As expected the level of entitlement increased over the two generations represented. 

    Conclusion: Personality, particularly the trait entitlement, contributes to the differences in parents’ perceptions relating to bullying. The current study suggest the need for future research on the implication of these differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-149
    Number of pages6
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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