Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 28 March 2023
Relational Victimisation and the Psychosocial Maladjustment of Adolescents in Secondary Schools in Cameroon
Shien Vera, Lilian F. Wiysahnyuy, Joseph Lah Lo-oh
University of Bamenda, Cameroon
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Keywords: Victimisation, Relational Victimisation, Psychosocial Maladjustment, Adolescents
Nowadays, the rate at which adolescent students victimized others is alarming. They engage in physical, sexual and relational victimisation which may have adverse psychosocial effects on the victims. Though they are diverse forms of victimisation among adolescents, this paper focuses on how relational victimisation (gossips, lies telling, social exclusion and rumours-mongering) leads to psychosocial maladjustment among adolescents in secondary schools in Cameroon. Purposive and stratified sampling techniques were used to select a sample which comprised of adolescent students (577), counsellors (12) and discipline masters (12) from some schools in the North West, South West, Centre, and Adamawa Region (613). The instruments used for data collection were a closed-ended questionnaire for students, a focus group discussion with students, and an interview for counsellors and discipline masters/mistresses. Data obtained were analyzed descriptively and inferentially using cross-tabulations, percentages, and multiple response sets. Findings showed that relational victimisation significantly predicts psychosocial maladjustment (P < 0.001). The positive sign of the correlation (R= 0.351**) implied that adolescents are more likely to suffer from psychosocial maladjustments when there is a persistent of relational victimisation in the school environment. The findings imply that when there are persistent lies telling, gossips, rumours-mongering and exclusion from social groups, the victim turn to suffer from psychosocial maladjustment like isolation, low self esteem, fear, and depression. In order to reduce the adverse effects of relational victimisation and promote positive psychosocial maladjustments among adolescent the various a stakeholders especially parents, teachers, school administrators, and counsellors should play unique roles in organising forums to advice and counsel the students peer victimization
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