O. Dias Lopes Silva1, S. Nunes Caldeira1, A.S. Toledo Sousa1, M. Mendes1, M.J. Martins2

1University of Azores (PORTUGAL)
2Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre (PORTUGAL)
In higher education, hazing seems to be a mean of accomplishing the integration of the freshmen in their new institutional world (Pimentel, Mata, & Pereira, 2012). However, the way as newcomers are received by older students is not always seen as friendly and respectful. In some situations and for some students, there are a lot of humiliation in those interactions between newcomers and veterans (Silva, 2013).

The main objective of this study is to discover feelings of 1st year students of higher education regarding the way they experienced praxes and ascertain the existence or non-existence of different profiles of students in this context. The data was obtained through the questionnaire containing variables of characterization of sample and Evaluation Scale of Situations of Bullying at Praxes of Higher Education (EASBPES), from Matos et al. (2010).

The data was analysed using statistical methods which highlight the 2D zoom stars, the box plot representations, the Spearman’s rank-order correlation Coefficient, the Categorical Principal Component Analysis (CatPCA) and k-means non-hierarchical method.

The total scores (sum of the scores obtained on the scale item) in EASBPES obtained by the students who took part in praxes in more active way were higher than obtained by the ones who didn’t take part in them and declare themselves as “anti-praxis”. Based on the total scores obtained in EASBPES, was applied the k-means method, considering three clusters, which cover, respectively, the students that obtained the total scores: lower, intermediate and higher. Projection of categories in two-dimensional space resulting from CatPCA has also pointed to existence of three profiles of students.

The total scores in EASBPES reflect the perceptions of students regarding praxis, referring, as it was expected, that the once who have higher points are in general the once who take part more actively in the activities and are in favour of them. The aspects which influence more students’ opinion regarding praxes are the existence or non-existence of aggression in actions or words in speech and the way they managed to deal with them. This way, the perceptions of students depend very much on the way the praxis are run, that is why should be made efforts to prevent abusive actions and to provide institutional attendance of them.