Examining the link between forms of bullying behaviors and perceptions of safety and belonging among secondary school students

Asha Goldweber, Tracy Evian Waasdorp, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that students who bully may perceive the school climate less favorably. Person-centered analyses were used to identify distinct groupings of bullying behaviors and related social-emotional factors (i.e., victimization, internalizing, and perception of school and bullying climate). Latent class analyses were conducted on a sample of 10,254 middle and 2509 high school students and indicated four classes in middle school (Low Involvement, Verbal, High Physical/High Verbal, and High Involvement) and three classes in high school (Low Involvement, Verbal, and High Involvement). A Low Involvement bullying class characterized most students and was related to positive adjustment, whereas a High Involvement bullying class represented the smallest proportion of the sample (1.6% middle school and 7.3% in high school). Students in the High Involvement class reported increased victimization and internalizing problems, feeling less safe and less belonging, and perceiving the school climate to be more supportive of bullying (i.e., perceiving adults' prevention and intervention efforts as ineffective). In middle school, the High Physical/High Verbal class reported significantly higher levels of victimization as compared to the Verbal class. Findings highlight heterogeneity in bullying behaviors and underscore the importance of prevention and intervention programming that addresses safety and belonging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-485
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Bullying behaviors
  • Latent class analyses
  • School climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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