Forty-two children aged between 8 and 10 years were interviewed about their experience of loneliness at primary school. The children were further asked to describe their experiences of being bullied, as well as to comment on their perception of the consequences of particular teacher interventions. It was found that a majority of children (80%) had periods of being lonely at school and that these experiences were associated with boredom, inactivity, a tendency to withdraw into fantasy, and a passive attitude towards social interactions. Moreover, children who invested in very few friendships were more vulnerable to becoming isolated. Similarly, a majority of children (68%) claimed to have been bullied, with lonely children being more likely to be victimized by peers. Furthermore, children reported that teacher interventions were on the whole not effective in bringing an end to their victimization experiences. Thus, the findings indicated that both bullying and particular kinds of teacher interventions were contributing factors to children’s prolonged sense of loneliness at school. A developmental model of the interrelationship of these three variables is proposed and discussed.


Loneliness, Bullying, School, Phenomenology, and Life-World

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