Robert Thornberg

Robert Thornberg
Linköping University | LiU · Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning (IBL)

PhD

About

162
Publications
136,782
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Introduction
Dr. Robert Thornberg is Professor of Education at the Department of Behavioural Sciences, Linköping University. His main focuses are on (a) bullying and peer victimization among children and adolescents in school settings, (b) school rules, moral practices, student participation, and social interactions in everyday school life, and (c) student teachers' experiences of distressed situations during teacher training.
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Linköping University
Education
February 2001 - March 2006
Linköping University
Field of study
  • Education

Publications

Publications (162)
Article
Using the social-ecological and social cognitive theories as integrated guiding frameworks, the present study examined whether moral disengagement and defender self-efficacy at the individual level, and moral disengagement, quality of teacher–student relationships and quality of student–student relationships at the classroom level were associated w...
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The aim of the present study was to investigate how basic moral sensitivity in bullying, moral disengagement in bullying and defender self-efficacy were related to different bystander behaviors in bullying. Therefore, we examined pathways that linked students' basic moral sensitivity, moral disengagement, and defender self-efficacy to different bys...
Article
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There is a widespread idea that in grounded theory (GT) research, the researcher has to delay the literature review until the end of the analysis to avoid contamination – a dictum that might turn educational researchers away from GT. Nevertheless, in this article the author (a) problematizes the dictum of delaying a literature review in classic gro...
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The aim of this study was to investigate how individuals;who had been victims of school bullying;perceived their bullying experiences and how these had affected them;and to generate a grounded theory of being a victim of bullying at school. Twenty-one individuals;who all had prior experiences of being bullied in school for more than one year;were i...
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The aim of this study was to investigate the collective action of bullying and its stigma processes and influences on identities. In accordance with interactionism, identity is a social process, constructed and reconstructed in everyday social interactions. Ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in four school classes, investigating six bullying case...
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The present study proposes and tests pathways by which racial discrimination might be positively related to bullying victimization among Black and White adolescents. Data were derived from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, a national survey that provides data on children’s physical and mental health and their families. Data were collec...
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This study examined whether student–teacher relationship quality at the individual level and student–teacher relationship quality and peer climate at the class level were associated with being a bully, a victim, a bully/victim, or uninvolved in school bullying, controlling for gender, age, socioeconomic status and immigrant background at the indivi...
Article
Defending in bullying is a complex, yet important behavior that is likely associated with individual characteristics and group factors that operate simultaneously in the classroom microsystem. However, little research has longitudinally analyzed the role of multiple promoting factors at both the individual and classroom level. Drawing on the social...
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Adolescents' aggressive behavior has been often linked to biases in morality. However, limited knowledge is available regarding the relative strength of different moral correlates, both at the individual and class-level, in predicting different types of aggressive behavior over time. To address this gap, the present study tested the prospective ass...
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Background: This study sought to analyse the metric properties of the scores obtained with an adaptation of the Student Bystander Behaviour Scale (SBBS; Thornberg & Jungert, 2013) in Spanish primary-school students and to examine the types of responses students reported as witnesses to school bullying, along with their relationship to empathy. Me...
Book
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Bullying does not occur in a vacuum. It is not a coincidence when bullying emerges in a group. Knowledge of both the causes of bullying and how it can be prevented has increased radically in recent decades. We know more about bullying today than we have ever done before. This knowledge is vital to children’s and young people’s development and learn...
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The overall aim of the present study was to examine whether moral disengagement and perceptions of antibullying class norms at individual level and at class level were associated with defending and passive bystanding in school bullying among school-age children. More specifically, we investigated the extent to which moral disengagement would contri...
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Background: School climate is crucial: its character can affect pupils’ academic achievement, teachers’ working conditions and the wellbeing of everyone at school. A major concern for teachers is how to prevent and manage disruptive behaviours. Against this backdrop, there is a need for thorough investigation of pupils’ perspectives to better under...
Chapter
For decades, social scientists have engaged in lengthy debates centered on defining traditional bullying, and these debates continue and are even more expansive with the advent of cyberbullying. As noted in this chapter, the majority of the definitions of bullying across the globe started with Olweus’s seminal writings and more recently contemporar...
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This study investigates whether the quantity and quality of contact with migrants and perceiving that cultural diversity is accepted at school (as a dimension of the perceived school climate) are associated with perpetrating bullying toward migrant classmates. Quantity and quality of contact are also examined as moderators of the association betwee...
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Highly responsive teachers tend to foster behaviors that are low in conflict and high in prosociality, among their students, leading to a positive classroom climate and to a decrease in bullying victimization. However, little is known about the interaction between teacher responsiveness and both student–teacher, and student–student relationship cha...
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Change advocacy: how beginning teachers cope with emotionally challenging situations Beginning to teach after teacher education is commonly depicted as an emotionally challenging period. Beginning teachers deploy strategies to cope with the emotionally challenging transition from teacher education and starting a position as a teacher. One way of co...
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The aim of the current study was to examine whether collective moral disengagement in the classroom was associated with bullying perpetration and victimisation. One-thousand-and-fifty-four students from 70 classrooms in 29 schools in the middle and southern parts of Sweden completed a questionnaire in their classroom. In line with the hypotheses, t...
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This three-year longitudinal study examined both within- and between-person effects of moral disengagement on verbal bullying perpetration in early adolescence. Data came from the first four waves (T1–T4, Grades 4 to 7) of an ongoing longitudinal project examining social and moral correlates of bullying in Swedish schools. Participants included 243...
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The present study aimed to investigate how those who had been chronic victims of bullying perceive their bullying experience from their initial attacks to their bullying exit, how they understood processes and actions causing a situation to become progressively worse, and how they interpreted their own coping behaviors. Nine individuals who were vi...
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The aim of this study was to examine and construct a theoretical model of key elements that care workers perceive to have an impact on their autonomy, cohesion, and work motivation. Grounded theory was used for data collection and analysis. There were 20 participants from social welfare service, geriatric care, and women’s aid settings (women = 18,...
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The overall objective of this study was to examine the links between teacher-student relationship quality and student engagement, delimited to affective and behavioural engagement. We used a sequential explanatory mixed methods research approach that consisted of a quantitative phase, in which survey data were collected and analysed within a short-...
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In this qualitative study, we explore teachers’ perspectives on spatiality, school design and school bullying. The study is part of a larger, ongoing ethnographic research project into the relations between school bullying and the institutional context of schooling being conducted in schools in Sweden, focusing on the perspectives of teachers and s...
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Time perspective has been recognized as an important psychological dimension with a pervasive and powerful influence on human behavior. To the authors’ knowledge, no studies have focused on the relationship between time perspective and cyberbullying behavior. The first aim of this research is to fill this gap by investigating the relationship betwe...
Article
Guided by the social-ecological perspective, this study aims to explore how various social climates are associated with school motivation and the future orientation of 597 African American adolescents. We examined the direct and indirect effects of parent factors and school climate on future orientation through school motivation. School motivation...
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This study examined whether students’ bystander behaviours in peer victimisation were associated with individual (IMD) and classroom collective moral disengagement (CMD). Self-report survey data were analysed from 1577 Swedish students in fifth grade. Multilevel analyses revealed that, when witnessing peer victimisation, students more often sided w...
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Research into the prevalence of bullying is important to enable the correct allocation of resources to prevent and end bullying. One problem when gathering knowledge in how prevalent bullying is, is the considerable variation in percentage points in research studies. The aim of this study was to analyze how the estimated prevalence in Swedish natio...
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Student teachers recurrently and spontaneously talk about burnout when considering challenges of teaching. The following paper aims to address burnout from the perspectives of student teachers, as well as how they prepare to deal with the threat of burnout. There is a lack of research from a student teacher’s perspective concerning burnout. Focus g...
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The article explores 5th and 6th grade pupils' reflections on why pupils may refrain from intervening in bullying, despite understanding that bullying is wrong. The findings are based on focus group interviews conducted with 74 Swedish school pupils, who were asked for their perspectives on the various participant roles depicted in a bullying vigne...
Article
Recently research on cyberbullying has been extensive, but mostly in Western societies. Cyberbullying is a new and unique form of bullying behaviour, which is affected by several protective and risk factors as well as is associated with behavioural, psychological and health outcomes. This introduction provides a background of cyberbullying in the A...
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Special educators are considered essential in schools, both in the regular system and in the separate special needs system. It is important to understand how special education is envisioned among teachers who choose further study in this field. The aim of this study is to gain more knowledge about what motivates teachers to gain further qualificati...
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The aim of the current study was to examine whether moral disengagement and defender self-efficacy at individual level and collective efficacy to stop peer aggression at classroom level were associated with defending and reinforcing in school bullying situations in late childhood. Self-reported survey data were collected from 1060 Swedish students...
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Teacher education involves encountering ethical dilemmas connected to teaching. Student teachers’ ethical dilemmas sometimes occur when ideals clash with experiences. The current study focuses on the challenges experienced by student teachers during work placement education. The aim of the study was to investigate ethical dilemmas student teachers...
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This article introduces grounded theory and places this method in its historical context when 1960s quantitative researchers wielded harsh criticisms of qualitative research. The originators of grounded theory, sociologists Glaser and Strauss, sought to defend the quality of qualitative research and argued that grounded theory increased its quality...
Article
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With reference to social–cognitive theory, the aim of the present study was to examine whether school students’ tendency to display different moral disengagement mechanisms varies according to different social cues in hypothetical events in which they are engaged in bullying behavior. A repeated within-subjects experimental design was adopted. A to...
Article
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This study examined whether defending and passive bystanding during peer victimization episodes were associated with individual‐ and classroom‐level efficacy to stop peer victimization. Self‐report survey data were analyzed from 1,467 Swedish fourth‐grade students (mean age = 10.55) from 100 classrooms in 63 schools. Multilevel analyses revealed th...
Chapter
Lärarens roll som ledare har stor betydelse för hur grupparbete genomförs men också för hur elever och studenter kommer att uppleva undervisningsmetoden. Rollen som ledare påbörjas innan grupparbetet startas och fortgår under hela grupparbetet. Arbetet avslutas först när utvärdering och bedömning är slutförda. Arbetsledarrollen inkluderar ansvar fö...
Article
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Teacher feedback can be described as a complex interactional pattern between teacher and student. Formative outcomes of assessment are considered to be enhanced when students understand aims and criteria. In order to better understand the processes of teacher feedback and to improve teaching and classroom assessment, there is a need for research on...
Presentation
In this study, elementary and secondary students from a Swedish compulsory school were asked to give their perspective on issues concerning sense of safety, relationships within school and how they view their school and teachers. Data were gathered through 18 semistructured focus group interviews with students from first- to ninth grade. Each group...
Presentation
The aim of this study was to test the direction of effect in the association between teacher–student relationship quality and student engagement among students in a Swedish compulsory school. An additional aim was to examine whether change in teacher–student relationship quality was associated with change in student engagement. Social-ecological an...
Article
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The aim of this study was to examine how different bystander roles in peer victimisation situations relate to moral disengagement, defender self-efficacy, and student-teacher relationship quality. Self-reported survey data were collected from 333 middle and junior high school students (10–15 years of age) from four schools in Sweden. Random interce...
Article
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Background School bullying is a widespread phenomenon across the world, which involves bystanders who take on various roles. Motivation to defend victims is important to investigate because it helps us devise better, evidence-based, anti-bullying interventions. Objective We aimed to determine whether students’ behavioral and emotional strengths an...
Article
Bullying includes intention of harm, repetitiveness and power imbalance, and is associated with a wide‐range of indices of short‐ and long‐term maladjustment. Both being a victim and being a bully are risk factors. The participant role model broadens the scope of direct involvement in bullying by including the parts played by other peers who may no...
Article
Objectives: The aim of the current study was to examine whether different types of involvement in bullying, together with a set of social-ecological correlates were associated with alcohol and marijuana use for female and male adolescents. Methods: This study utilized data derived from the U.S. division of the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-Ag...
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Objectives: Health care students face many situations during their education that might be emotionally challenging. Students are confronted with illness, suffering, death, patient treatment dilemmas, and witnessing unprofessional behaviour on the part of health care professionals. Few studies have focused on what these experiences lead to in relat...
Chapter
The international school bullying research field has its origin in Sweden, as it was initiated by the work of Olweus during the 1970s. His definition of bullying is the most widely spread and used definition in the international school bullying research field. At the same time, there has been and still is an ongoing debate and critique regarding th...
Article
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The vast majority of adolescents recognize that bullying is morally wrong, yet bullying remains a problem in secondary schools, indicating young people may disengage from their moral values to engage in bullying. But it is unclear whether the same mechanisms enabling moral disengagement are active for bully/victims (who both bully and are bullied)...
Article
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Student teachers have to cope with distressing emotions during teacher education. Coping is important in relation to both attrition and bridging the gap between being a student teacher and starting work. The data consist of semi-structured interviews with 25 student teachers, which were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory framework. The...
Article
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The aim of this study was to examine whether individual and classroom collective social-cognitive processes (moral disengagement and self-efficacy) were associated with bullying perpetration among schoolchildren. An additional aim was to examine whether changes in these processes from grade 4 (Time 1) to grade 5 (Time 2) were associated with a chan...
Article
An increasing number of immigrant students attend Italian schools, with the possibility of being involved in bullying episodes. A few studies have investigated this phenomenon, providing some evidence that immigrant students may face an increased risk of being bullied compared to native‐born students. The present study adopted a mixed‐method design...
Article
School bullying is a complex social and relational phenomenon with severe consequences for those involved. Most children view bullying as wrong and recognize its harmful consequences; nevertheless, it continues to be a persistent problem within schools. Previous research has shown that children’s engagement in bullying perpetration can be influence...
Article
Researchers have suggested that bystander behaviors and victim coping play an important role in counteracting the negative effects of bullying. The current study investigated the relationship between students’ ratings of coping effectiveness when addressing bullying and their behaviors as bystanders when witnessing bullying. Surveys were administer...
Article
The aim of the current study was to longitudinally investigate the bi-directional relationship between moral disengagement and bullying perpetration in a sample of 1,354 students from 108 elementary classes in 69 public schools. Students participated in the study both at Time 1 (fourth grade) and around one year later at Time 2 (fifth grade). Struc...
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The aim of the present study was to use the narratives of beginning teachers to investigate the emotionally challenging situations they face, with a focus on how their perspectives and definitions of such situations guided their actions and made coping possible. A short term longitudinal qualitative interview study was adopted. Twenty participants...
Conference Paper
Previous research has suggested that bystanders are important in schools’ prevention and intervention work against peer victimization. Prevalence of peer victimization is lower in school contexts where bystanders tend to side with the victims, compared to contexts where bystanders stay passive or side with the perpetrators. Drawing on social-cognit...
Article
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The aim of the study was to examine Swedish school pupils’ perspectives on why some pupils engage in bullying, support bullying or avoid standing up for the one(s) being bullied, despite a shared understanding that bullying is wrong. Through the use of focus group interviews combined with two bullying vignettes, a total of 74 pupils from grades 5 a...
Article
Background The literature indicates that separate significant links exist in adolescence between empathy, cognitive and affective motivation to defend victims, and behavioural problems in bullying episode in schools. Aims The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between empathy, motivation to defend, and defending behaviour in bull...
Article
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Background: In order to support efforts to prevent bullying, more needs to be understood about students’ own explanations of bullying in their everyday school lives. In-depth qualitative analysis can contribute important insights regarding insider perspectives in terms of how students understand and explain the social interaction patterns of bullyi...
Conference Paper
Beginning teachers face complicated socialization processes, affected by micro-political contexts. Starting to teach may entail conflicts, rivalry, competition, as well as alliances and collaboration with colleagues and other staff of a school. Beginning teachers need to understand the social setting where they start their career. The aim of the st...
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Background There is a growing body of international research that displays the prevalence and character of abuse in health care. Even though most of these studies are conducted from a patient perspective little is known about how patients conceptualize their agency in relation to such situations. This study aimed to explore how patients reason abou...
Article
This study examined the links between seven specific mechanisms of moral disengagement and indirect bullying, direct bullying, and pro-aggressive bystander behavior. In addition, the moderating role of gender on these associations was examined. Participants were 317 Swedish students in Grades 4 to 8 ((Formula presented.), SD = 1.35; 62% girls). Mul...
Article
Objective: Bullying research has recently focused on how moral cognitions and emotions shape the bullying context, though research has less assessed whether and how morality influences the bystander behaviors of youth. The present study assessed whether the level of moral distress students feel when they do not intervene to help bullied peers media...
Article
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With reference to social-ecological, self-determination, attributional, and social cognitive theories, the current study examined whether gender, age, altruistic motivation to defend victims, and tendency to blame the victims, at the individual level, and the prevalence of reinforcing and defending, at the classroom level, were associated with bull...
Article
Authoritative school climates have been associated with less school bullying and other antisocial behaviors. However, studies focusing on the classroom level, as well as on bystander behaviors, are lacking. The aim of the current study was to examine whether authoritative classroom climates were associated with bullying victimization and various by...
Article
This study investigated the links between students' behavioral problems, student–teacher conflict, and students' involvement in bully, victim, and bully/victim roles in adolescence. The role of student–teacher conflict as moderator of the association between students' behavioral problems and their involvement in each bullying role was examined. Sam...