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Kids Who Believe in a “Just World” Engage in Less Bullying Behavior

Picture of boy holding globe of planet earth in his hands.

Recent research indicates that kids who believe in a “Just World” are less likely to engage in bullying behavior.

If you’re not familiar with the “Just World” concept it breaks down into three parts.

First is trust that others will treat you justly now and in the future. With this comes the belief that you’ll be rewarded justly for your actions in the future.

The second part is being able to compensate when you’re presented with an injustice. This can either be done mentally by minimizing its impact on you, or by taking actions that restore justice to your life.

The final part is to personally behave in a way that’s just so you can be part of maintaining balance in a just world.

These three principles combined make up the “Just World” belief. Recent research performed in Germany and India indicates that kids who believe in a “Just World” are less likely to engage in bullying behavior.

From the article:

The confidence that most things in their life tend to be just seems to strengthen adolescents’ motivation to avoid unjust and problematic social behavior. The more strongly students believe in a personal just world in which they are treated justly, the less likely they are to engage in bullying behavior. Our data further showed that teacher justice mediates the adaptive relation between the personal belief in a just world and bullying behavior in different cultural contexts.

So kids who believe that the world is “just” are less likely to engage in bullying behavior.

My personal observation is that this is linked to having good character. When kids are in an environment where good character is taught and valued, it reinforces their belief in a “Just World”.

This is why we created our character education assembly. Repeatedly our research on bullying behavior has come back to this as the best possible solution.

Works Cited

Shanmukh V. Kamble, et al. “Belief In A Just World, Teacher Justice, And Bullying Behavior.” Aggressive Behavior 38.3 (2012): 185-193. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. [Link]

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