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Psykhe (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2228

Abstract

POTOCNJAK, Maritgen; BERGER, Christian  and  TOMICIC, Tatiana. A Relational Approach to School Violence Among Peers in Chilean Adolescents: Adolescent Perspective About Intervening Factors. Psykhe [online]. 2011, vol.20, n.2, pp. 39-52. ISSN 0718-2228.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22282011000200004.

The present study approaches school violence from the adolescents' perspective, identifying intervening factors in its emergence. An exploratory qualitative methodology within a grounded theory framework was used, interviewing individually and collectively 28 students of 11 to 14 years old from 3 schools in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. Results show a gap between adult perspectives and students' socioemotional needs, which would favor their involvement in school violence. Schools and teachers do not have effective strategies to face this phenomenon. Peer dynamics can sustain, reinforce, or inhibit violence, through the establishment of social hierarchies within the peer social ecology. The relational analysis highlights the adolescent demands for structure, contention, and orientation, arguing that the adult system does not satisfy these needs adequately. Adolescents would build through violence a social order aimed to meet their relational needs. Violence might fulfill the function of calling adults' attention and fill the space of the social and emotional attachment dimension which constitutes a central need during this developmental stage.

Keywords : school violence; secondary attachment; peer relations.

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