Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Arthur Shapiro, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Steve Permuth, Ed.D.


School violence, Resiliency, School climate, Harassment, Social emotional learning, Risk and protective factors


Bullying is a complex behavior that can cause academic and social problems for students and can contribute to a negative school climate. Students who feel isolated or do not feel connected to their school may experience similar risks to those who are victimized by peers. Recent school violence incidents have led to an increase in bullying behavior research. The importance of the school climate is also emerging in educational discourse prompting a growth of research in school connectedness and positive relationships. However, research on the impact that relationships and school connectedness may have on bullying victimization at school is limited. This is a secondary analysis of a national data set from the 2005 administration of the National Crime Victimization Survey School Crime Supplement.

The study focused on the relationship between school connectedness and bullying victimization and whether gender, race, grade level, and academic achievement moderate the relationship. The role of relationships in bullying victimization was considered. Weighted regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between bullying behaviors and school connectedness and to identify the combination of factors that may influence the relationship. Components of school connectedness identified through factor analysis were statistically significant predictors of occurrence and frequency of bullying victimization, but accounted for a very small amount of variance in the outcome. Adding demographic variables of race, gender, grade level, and academic achievement produced a slight increase in the proportion of variance accounted for.

Race did not have a statistically significant impact on occurrence of bullying victimization; neither race nor gender was statistically significant in variance of frequency of bullying victimization. Peer relationships proved to be statistically significant in bullying victimization frequency but neither adult-student nor peer relationships were statistically related to bullying victimization occurrence. Overall, school connectedness predicted a very small proportion of variance in occurrence and frequency of bullying victimization, suggesting that bullying prevention efforts should include strategies beyond those to improve a student's sense of connectedness to school. A comprehensive approach is needed to address bullying in schools effectively.