Do Personality Characteristics and Beliefs Predict Intra-Group Bullying Between Prisoners?

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Abstract

This study assesses how beliefs about aggression and personality can predict engagement in intra-group bullying among prisoners.
A sample of 213 adult male prisoners completed the DIPC-SCALED (bullying behavior), the EXPAGG (beliefs toward
aggression), and the IPIP (a five-factor measure of personality). It was predicted that bullies would hold greater instrumental
beliefs supporting the use of aggression than the other categories, with perpetrators reporting lower scores on agreeableness,
conscientiousness, and openness to experience, and higher scores on neuroticism (i.e. low scores on emotional stability) than the
remaining sample. Bullies and bully-victims endorsed greater instrumental aggressive beliefs than the victim category. Only one
perpetrator group, bullies were predicted by reduced levels of agreeableness and increased levels of neuroticism, whereas bully/
victims were predicted by decreased levels of neuroticism. Limitations of this study and directions for future research are discussed.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261–270
JournalAggressive Behavior
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2010