'I’m being called names and I’m being hit': Challenges of longitudinal research on bullying amongst 11-13-year-olds
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Jones, S., Fox, C., Gilman, H., James, L., Karic, T., Wright-Bevans, K., & Caines, V. (2013) 'I’m being called names and I’m being hit': Challenges of longitudinal research on bullying amongst 11-13-year-olds. Pastoral Care in Education, 31 (4), pp. 321-336.
Over the past 25 years, a burgeoning literature has emerged which concentrates on the antecedents, experiences and effects of peer victimisation and bullying in schools. Although many advances have been made in this research area, there remain relatively few research papers in the academic literature that discuss the complexities of research (a) with children, rather than adults, (b) in schools or (c) on a sensitive research topic such as bullying. Here, we aim to address this apparent deficit, by drawing on our own experiences of a longitudinal research project, gathering quantitative data, to examine humour use and bullying amongst children aged 11–13 years, in the UK. We explain and critically evaluate our research choices, from designing questionnaires and engaging with parents, pupils and school staff, to our methods of data collection. In so doing, we highlight both the range of options available to researchers, the importance of dialogue surrounding these choices in the wider research community and the need for evidence-based best practice in this research area.