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Anales de Psicología ISSN: Universidad de Murcia España Strohmeier, Dagmar; Fandrem, Hildegunn; Spiel, Christiane The need for peer acceptance and affiliation as underlying

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Anales de Psicología ISSN: Universidad de Murcia España Strohmeier, Dagmar; Fandrem, Hildegunn; Spiel, Christiane The need for peer acceptance and affiliation as underlying motive for aggressive behaviour and bullying others among immigrant youth living in Austria and Norway Anales de Psicología, vol. 28, núm. 3, octubre, 2012, pp Universidad de Murcia Murcia, España Available in: How to cite Complete issue More information about this article Journal's homepage in Scientific Information System Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal Non-profit academic project, developed under the open access initiative , Copyright 2012: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Murcia. Murcia (España) ISSN edición impresa: ISSN edición web ( The need for peer acceptance and affiliation as underlying motive for aggressive behaviour and bullying others among immigrant youth living in Austria and Norway Dagmar Strohmeier 1, Hildegunn Fandrem 2, and Christiane Spiel 3 1 University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz (Austria) 2 Centre for Behavioral Research, University of Stavanger (Norway) 3 University of Vienna (Austria) Título: La necesidad de aceptación por los iguales como motivo subyacente del comportamiento agresivo y el acoso a los demás entre los jóvenes inmigrantes que viven en Austria y Noruega. Resumen: Este estudio (1) comparó el nivel general de comportamiento agresivo y el acoso a los demás e (2) investigó el poder predictivo de dos motivos subyacentes la agresión reactiva y las necesidades de aceptación por los iguales y de afiliación entre jóvenes no inmigrantes e inmigrantes viviendo en dos países europeos. En Austria, se disponía de datos sobre el comportamiento agresivo, en Noruega, por su parte, el acoso a los demás, una subcategoría del comportamiento agresivo, fue analizado. La muestra incluía a 302 noruegos no inmigrantes (48,7% chicas), 161 adolescentes inmigrantes de primera generación que vivían en Noruega (51,6% chicas), 339 austríacos no inmigrantes (51,6% chicas), y 126 inmigrantes de primera generación (48,4% chicas) que vivían en Austria, de edades entre 14 y 16 años. El estatus de inmigrante se asociaba a niveles más altos de acoso a los demás en Noruega. En Austria, no se encontraron diferencias en el comportamiento agresivo. En ambos países, modelos de ecuaciones estructurales pusieron de manifiesto que la necesidad de aceptación por los iguales y de afiliación pero no la agresión reactiva - predecía el acoso a los demás y el comportamiento agresivo entre los inmigrantes, pero no entre los no inmigrantes. Se comentan los resultados sobre el proceso de aculturación entre jóvenes inmigrantes viviendo en dos países europeos. Palabras clave: jóvenes inmigrantes; comportamiento agresivo; acoso a los demás; agresión reactiva; agresión instrumental; afiliación; aceptación; adolescentes Introduction Raising numbers of children and youth were not born in their country of settlement, but migrated there from another country legally or illegally for many different reasons (IOM, 2010). Migration is an inherently stressful life event because of the manifold challenges associated with resettlement and acculturation (Berry, 2006). Research demonstrated that immigrant youth are more vulnerable for peer rejection (e.g., Strohmeier, Kärnä, Salmivalli, 2011; Strohmeier & Spiel, 2003; Motti-Stefanidi et al, 2008) and racist victimization compared with their non-immigrant counterparts (e.g., Jasinskaja-Lahti & Liebkind, 2001; Liebkind & Jasinskaja-Lahti, 2000a; McKenney, Pepler, Craig, & Connolly, 2006; Monks; Ortega-Ruiz, & Rodriguez-Hidalgo, 2008; Verkuyten & Thijs, 2002). Thus, to feel affiliated with and accepted by peers are particular challenges for immigrant youth. Youth can achieve such affiliation needs by prosocial or antisocial means (e.g., Hawley, 1999; 2003; Pellegrini, 2008). The present study exclusively focuses on the question whether the need for peer acceptance or affiliation is associated with aggressive behaviour or bullying others among immigrant * Dirección para correspondencia [Correspondence address]: Dagmar Strohmeier, Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, School of Health / Social Sciences, Garnisonstrasse 21, 4020 Linz (Austria). Abstract: This study (1) compared the overall levels of aggressive behaviour and bullying others and (2) investigated the predictive power of two underlying motives reactive aggression and the need for peer acceptance and affiliation between non-immigrant and immigrant youth living in two European countries. In Austria, data on aggressive behaviour was available for analyses, while in Norway bullying others, a subcategory of aggressive behaviour was investigated. The sample comprised 302 non-immigrant Norwegians (48.7% girls), 161 first generation immigrant adolescents living in Norway (51.6% girls), 339 non-immigrant Austrians (51.6% girls), and 126 first generation immigrants (48.4% girls) living in Austria aged 14 to 16 years. Immigrant status was associated with higher levels of bullying others in Norway. In Austria, no differences regarding aggressive behaviour were found. In both countries, multiple group structural equation models revealed that the need for peer acceptance and affiliation but not reactive aggression - was a predictor of bullying others and aggressive behaviour among immigrants, but not among non-immigrants. Results are discussed regarding the process of acculturation among immigrant youth living in two European countries. Key words: immigrant youth; aggressive behaviour; bullying others; reactive aggression; instrumental aggression; affiliation; acceptance; adolescents. youth. This study applied the acculturative stress perspective (Berry, 2006) to peer relation research to better understand underlying motives for aggressive behavior and bullying others among immigrant youth. To improve the external validity of the findings, immigrant youth in two countries Austria and Norway were included in the present study. Definitions of bullying others and aggression Bullying others is usually defined as an externalizing behaviour problem and a subtype of aggressive behaviour with three key elements present: (1) intentional harm doing, (2) repetition and (3) imbalance of power (Olweus, 1991; Roland, 1989). These key elements are internationally accepted, although bullying others may be conceptualised slightly different depending on the language or culture (Smith, Cowie, Olafsson, & Liefooghe, 2002; Strohmeier, Aoyama, Gradinger & Toda, in press). In general, bullying includes a variety of negative acts, which can be delivered face-to-face or by indirect means. Physical or verbal insults are mostly visible and are therefore categorized as direct bullying. Hidden behaviour such as social exclusion, spreading rumours or manipulating relationships is considered to be indirect or relational bullying. Furthermore, bullying can also be carried out via electronic means or in the internet. This more recent form of bullying others is called cyberbullying (Gradinger, 696 Dagmar Strohmeier et al. Strohmeier, & Spiel, 2009; Smith et al., 2008). Aggressiveness, or the trait aggression, is defined as a stable tendency to hurt or attack someone else. Two underlying functions or motives to better understand trait aggression are described in the literature, reactive and proactive aggression (Card & Little, 2006; Dodge, 1991; Vitaro & Brendgen, 2005). Reactive aggression is theoretically grounded in the frustration-aggression model; therefore this kind of aggressive behaviour occurs as an angry reaction to a perceived frustration (Berkowitz, 1989). Proactive aggression, on the other hand, has its roots in social cognitive learning theory. This type of aggression describes a planned behaviour which is controlled by external rewards and reinforcements (Bandura, 1973; Vitaro, Brendgen, & Barker, 2006). While anger is the central emotion for reactive aggression, pleasure through social rewards is the dominant emotion for proactive aggression. Roland and Idsøe (2001) further distinguished proactive aggression regarding the particular goal power or affiliation that a perpetrator wants to achieve by aggressive means. Both power and affiliation goals were also distinguished in the literature dealing with children s social goals (Buhrmester, 1996; Ojanen, Aunola, & Salmivalli, 2007; Ojanen, Gronroos, & Salmivalli, 2005).While a perpetrator who is motivated by power acts aggressively to feel dominant and powerful, a perpetrator who is motivated by affiliation behaves aggressively together with others to feel affiliated with or accepted by them. While both reactive and proactive aggression are important motives to better understand aggressiveness and aggressive behaviour, bullying others was found to be motivated by proactive aggression rather than reactive aggression, especially among adolescents (Roland & Idsøe, 2001; Salmivalli & Nieminen, 2002). Bullying others is therefore often considered as a proactive subtype of aggressive behaviour. To investigate bullying others and aggressive behaviours in school is especially important given the evidence that both behaviours are risk factors for delinquency later in life. Based on a systematic meta-analytic review of longitudinal studies it was shown that the probability of offending up to 11 years later was much higher for school bullies than for non-involved youth (Ttofi, Farrington, Lösel & Loeber, 2011). Thus, to better understand underlying motives of bullying others and aggressive behaviour is also important regarding the prevention of delinquent behaviour later in life. The need for peer acceptance and affiliation as a motive to bully or hurt others Peer acceptance or affiliation as underlying motives of aggressive behaviour make it relevant to focus on peer groups when studying aggressive behaviour and bullying. In the bullying literature, bullying has long been understood as a group- phenomenon determined not only by characteristics of bullies and victims but also by social relationships or roles within the group (Salmivalli, Lagerspetz, Björkqvist, Österman, & Kaukiainen, 1996). As empirical evidence shows, one important motive for bullying others is to gain social status, or to be accepted by peers (Olthof & Goossens, 2008; Salmivalli & Peets, 2008; Veenstra et al., 2007). Similarly, from an evolutionary-oriented perspective, social dominance was understood in terms of resource control and evidence shows that youth use both aggressive and affiliative behaviours to gain these resources (e.g., Hawley, 1999, Pellegrini, 2008). However, studies applying these ideas to better understand peer relations among immigrant youth are still relatively scarce (e.g., Fandrem, Ertesvåg, Strohmeier, & Roland, 2010; Fandrem, Strohmeier, & Roland, 2009; Strohmeier, Fandrem, Stefanek, & Spiel, 2012) although the dimension relationships is one of the two central components in acculturation theory (e.g., Berry, 1997, 2006). According to Berry (1997), (1) maintenance of heritage culture and identity and (2) relationships sought with people from the other culture are the two basic dimensions involved in the acculturation process. Thus, in the present study acculturation theory was applied on peer relation research. It is possible to investigate the impact of acculturation on motives of aggressive behaviour or bullying others by comparing non-immigrant youth with first generation immigrants. Thus, immigrant status can be used as a proxy variable for acculturation. First generation immigrants are not born in the country of settlement, but they have migrated there from another country. Just like non-immigrant adolescents, first generation immigrant youth have to cope with a set of developmental tasks such as academic achievement at school, social relationships with peers and family, psychological well-being, and identity formation (Strohmeier & Schmitt-Rodermund, 2008). In addition, immigrant (but not non-immigrant) adolescents are faced with the particular challenges of acculturation which are either directly associated with the process of immigration (e.g., resettlement) or with the status of being an immigrant in a foreign country (e.g., discrimination, racist victimization). Because only first generation immigrants have experienced the challenge of resettlement, it is reasonable to use generational status (controlled for length of stay) as a proxy variable to describe acculturation. Levels of bullying in schools in Austria and Norway In Austria, the prevention of aggressive behaviour and bullying others in schools has gained considerable public attention and a national strategy for violence prevention in the public school system has been developed and step-wise implemented since 2007 (Spiel & Strohmeier, 2007, 2011). In Norway, bullying prevention is an important public topic already since 1983 (Roland, 2000). In both countries, prevalence rates of aggressive behaviour and bullying others vary according to methods used and samples investigated. A systematic comparison of bullying others between different countries is the Health Behaviours The need for affiliation among immigrant youth 697 in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey (Craig & Harel, 2004). According to this survey, Austria showed comparatively high rates of bullying and victimization in schools. Ten to 23% of youth aged 11 to 15 years reported to be bullied two to three times or more in the previous couple of months. In Norway, these rates were much smaller ranging between 3% for the 13 and 15 year old Norwegian girls and 10.7% for the 13 year old Norwegian boys and 11.3% for the 15 year old Norwegian boys. Another important source of comparative data is the Second International Self Reported Delinquency Study, ISRD-2 (Enzmann et al., 2010). This study reported the 12 month prevalence rates of self reported delinquency measured by 12 differently serious offences in 31 countries. In this study, data collected in one big city in Norway and two big cities in Austria were analysed. Compared with the other 29 participating countries, the 12 month prevalence rates were comparatively low in both Norway (16.6%) and Austria (22.1%). Until now, very few studies have compared prevalence rates of general bullying and aggressive behaviour between students belonging to different ethnic, cultural or immigrant groups. Most of these studies find no differences between non-immigrants and immigrants (for an overview see Fandrem et al., 2009; Strohmeier & Spiel, 2012). Also rare is research on peer victimization among students belonging to different ethnic, cultural or immigrant groups. Most general bullying studies find no differences between non-immigrants and immigrants (for an overview see Strohmeier et al., 2011). Thus, based on these comparative analyses, there is little empirical evidence that immigrant or minority status, in and of itself, is a risk factor for bullying and general peer victimization (see also, e.g., Graham, Taylor & Ho, 2009). In Norway, empirical findings are sparse and controversial. While Fandrem and colleagues (2009) using a large representative sample did not find any differences regarding the levels of peer victimization between non-immigrants and immigrants but found that immigrant youth bullied others more than non-immigrants, Bakken and Nordahl (2003) found that young immigrants were at higher risk for peer victimization compared to non-immigrant young people. Studies conducted in Austria yielded more consistent results. In Austria, studies splitting immigrant youth according to their ethnic background showed that they were either at lower or at equal risk for being victimized and bullying others compared to non-immigrant youth (Bergmüller & Wiesner, 2009; Strohmeier & Spiel, 2003; Strohmeier, Atria, & Spiel, 2005; Strohmeier, Nestler, & Spiel, 2006; Strohmeier, Spiel, Gradinger, 2008). Immigrant situation in Austria and Norway In Austria, million people (17.8% of the whole population) had an immigrant background in 2010 (Statistik Austria, 2010). 13.1% of the whole population were first generation immigrants because they were born in another country than Austria and 4.7% were second generation immigrants because they were born in Austria but one of their parents were born abroad. The three biggest immigrant groups migrated to Austria from former Yugoslavia (31%), Germany (14%), and Turkey (13%). Many immigrants migrated from Eastern European Countries (~ 14%), like Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, and Hungary. In Norway, approximately people (11.4% of the whole population) had an immigrant background as either they immigrated themselves (first generation) or they were born in Norway but one of their parents were born abroad (second generation) in 2010 (Statistics Norway, 2011). 47% of the immigrants migrated from Europe, 36% from Asia, 12% from Africa, 3% from South or Middle America, and 2% from North America or Oceania. Thus, the immigrant group in Norway is highly diverse as the immigrants living in Norway stem from 215 different countries, with the biggest groups being from Poland (9%), Sweden (5,5%), Germany (3,8%) and Iraq (3,6%), and the next biggest groups being from Pakistan, Somalia, Vietnam, Denmark, Iran, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Great Britain. Depending on the region, both in Austria and in Norway there is a huge variation of the percentage of immigrants with the biggest proportions present in the two capital cities, Vienna and Oslo. In Vienna, the percentage of immigrants approached 36% (Statistik Austria, 2010), while in Oslo this percentage was 27% in 2010 (Statistics Norway, 2011). The present study uses immigrant samples drawn in both Austria and Norway to improve the external validity of the findings. This is important because contextual variables like history of immigration or immigration policies which differ between Austria and Norway might also influence results. When considering external validity studies using comparative data are important. The Present Study The main goal of the present study was to compare the overall involvement in aggressive behaviour and bullying others and their underlying motives between non-immigrant and immigrant youth living in Austria and Norway. As underlying motives, reactive aggression and the need for affiliation or acceptance were distinguished. Regarding the level differences it was impossible to draw conclusive hypotheses based on theoretical grounds. Moreover, because previous studies reported inconsistent results in Norway, while no associations were found between aggressive behaviour and immigrant status in Austria, we investigated this question exploratively. Obviously it is very important to investigate mean level differences between non-immigrant and immigrant adolescents. However, such a descriptive approach can only be seen as a first step. Another important question which needs to be addressed is whether underlying motives for aggressive behaviour and bullying others might differ between nonimmigrant and immigrant youth. Therefore, it was investi- 698 Dagmar Strohmeier et al. gated whether the need for peer acceptance and affiliation as important underlying motive for bullying others and aggressive behaviour operates differently between non-immigrant and immigrant youth. In line with basic predictions of the acculturation model (Berry, 1997; 2006), empirical evidence on peer rejection among immigrants (e.g., Motti-Stefanidi et al., 2008; Strohmeier & Spiel, 2003; Strohmeier et al., 2011) and resource control theory (Hawley, 1999; Pellegrini, 2008) the hypothesis was that the need for affiliation and acceptance would be a more important predictor for bullying others and aggressive behaviour among first generati
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