Bullying and Victimization Among Boys and Girls in Middle School: The Influence of Perceived Family and School Contexts

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bullying, victimization, peer aggression, social contexts, gender differences, adolescence

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The present study examines the mechanisms by which students' perceptions of family and school experiences moderate the association between their emotionality and their habitual involvement in bullying and victimization. The authors hypothesize that students with internalizing and/or externalizing difficulties are less likely to be categorized as bullies and/or victims if they report coming from more cohesive and adaptable families and attending schools characterized by higher adult monitoring, lower levels of aggression and disorder, and higher levels of school bonding. Home and school environments in which these characteristics are less evident to students were expected to exacerbate the likelihood of being bullies and/or victims. Middle school youth (N = 2,506) and their teachers completed surveys assessing emotionality, peer relationships, academic performance, and home and school contexts. Using multinomial logistic regression, the authors found that perceived climates low in student misconduct increase the likelihood that internalizing difficulties predicted classification as victims. Increased student-reported adult monitoring decreased the likelihood for students with externalizing problems to be characterized as bullies, particularly for girls. These findings have implications for the development of school-based intervention programming.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Journal of Early Adolescence, v. 29, issue 4, p. 571-609