Affiliations: [a] University “G. d’Annunzio”, Chieti-Pescara, Italy
| [b] University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Address for correspondence: Angela Mazzone, University “G. d’Annunzio”, Department of Neurosciences, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, Via dei Vestini, 31, Blocco A di Psicologia, 66013 Chieti, Italy. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The present study investigated the associations between bullying perpetration and victimization and physiological reactivity to social exclusion. The participants were 28 early adolescents (17 boys and 11 girls; Mage = 11.55; SD = 1.34). Bullying perpetration and victimization were assessed by peer nominations. To elicit social exclusion, participants were first included and then excluded in a laboratory paradigm (Cyberball). Physiological reactivity (i.e., nose tip temperature) was detected through thermal infrared imaging during the computer simulation. Nose temperature variations during inclusion and exclusion were compared between each other. Results showed increasing skin temperature during exclusion, compared to inclusion, for the whole sample, indicating that being excluded affected physiological reactivity. However, victimization was associated with higher skin temperature during exclusion, compared to bullying. The present findings suggest the importance of combining behavioral and contact-free physiological measures when studying bullying perpetration and victimization by peers.
Keywords: Bullying, victimization, physiological reactivity, social exclusion, thermal infrared imaging