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Little is known about Australian high-performance school-age athletes’ experiences as victims of the tall poppy syndrome. Tall poppies are successful individuals bullied by those who are less successful in order to “normalize them.” Nineteen current or previous national or international high-performance school-age athletes were interviewed (12 females and seven males). NVivo 10 was used to analyze interview data. Findings indicated all 12 females were bullied at school and this had a detrimental impact on their school life and well-being. No male athletes reported being bullied and their failure to mention this warrants further investigation. Parents and teachers require a greater awareness of tall poppy syndrome behaviors, and schools should promote an antibullying culture that includes resilience training for talented individuals.


School of Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of School Violence on 18 March 2014, available online:

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