Forgiveness, Shaming, Shame and Bullying

John Braithwaite, Eliza Ahmed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This study predicts self-initiated bullying from three variables: shaming, forgiveness and shame. Data were collected from 1875 Bangladeshi school children (60% girls; mean grade = 8.28) using the Bengali version of the Life at School Survey. Results demonstrated that reintegrative shaming and forgiveness were related to less bullying. High shame acknowledgment (accepting responsibility, making amends) and low shame displacement into anger or blaming others were also associated with less bullying. Liking school protected children who experienced (a) less reintegrative shaming, and (b) more stigmatising shaming at home. Equally, more reintegrative shaming and less stigmatising shaming protected children against bullying when liking for school was absent. The forgiveness main effect on bullying (22.4% reduction) was much bigger than the main effect of reintegrative shaming (11.3% reduction). These results are consistent with the view that forgiveness is a more powerful restorative practice than reintegrative shaming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-323
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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