Implications of shyness and somatic symptoms in bullying

Valentina Spensieri, Fabio Presaghi, Rita Cerutti


The literature on bullying victimization shows that bullying among children and adolescents has increased dramatically. Several studies have explored the distinctive features of those who bully other children and those who are victimized by bullies. The aim of the present study was to explore whether somatic complaints may play a mediational role in the relationship between shyness and aggressive behaviors. One hundred and eighty children (Mean age = 9.11; SD = 0.86) attending primary and middle public schools of the centre of Italy were involved in this study. Participants were asked to complete the following measures: Olweus Bullying Questionnaire; Children’s Shyness Questionnaire (CSQ); Children’s Somatization Inventory (CSI-24). Findings confirm the presence of a relation between shyness and bullying victimization when somatic complaints are also considered. The mediating model shows that the direct effect of shyness on bullying victimization is not significant, however, its indirect effect through somatic symptoms represents an important risk factor in predicting bullying victimization.


bullying; victimization; shyness; somatic symptoms; developmental age

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  ISSN PRINT: 1125-5196  -   ISSN ONLINE: 1974-4854