Brief Report

Peer Aggression by Secondary School Learners in a South African School Setting: Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 22, issue 3, 2012 , pages: 409–413
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2012.10820546
Author(s): Johan BothaNorth West University, South Africa, Chris MyburghUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa, Marie PoggenpoelUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa


This study reports the experience of aggression by secondary school learners attending a South African school. There were 14 participants ranging in age from 16 to 19 years (Gender: 6 young women and 8 young men; Ethnicity: 7 Black; 3 Coloured; 2 Indian and 2 White). Data were collected using open ended interviews and analysed using Tesch's (1990) thematic panning method. The findings suggest these learners have little understanding or appreciation of diversity in their multicultural schools. Consequently, they experience negative interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. The accompanying aggression they experience and display has racial and gender overtones that are shaped by the violence in their communities.

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