ERIC Number: EJ1246380
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Understanding the Relationship between Youths' Belonging and Bullying Behaviour: An SEM Model
Slaten, Christopher D.; Rose, Chad A.; Ferguson, Jonathan K.
Educational & Child Psychology, v36 n2 p50-63 Jun 2019
Aim: Bullying is a significant problem among school children and within the climate and culture of many schools. Research has indicated that environmental and psychosocial factors may play an important role in the culture change needed to minimise bullying behaviours in schools (Goldweber et al., 2013; Mehta et al., 2013; Sapouna & Wolke, 2013). A growing body of literature suggests that belonging, one such type of psychosocial factor may act as a buffer for bullying perpetration. For this reason, the current study aimed to explore the relationship between peer, family, and school belonging and bullying behaviours. Method/Rationale: Students from rural middle schools (ages 11-14; N=912) in the United States completed surveys including questionnaires on bullying and peer, family, and school belonging. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationship between belonging and bullying behaviour. Findings: The results support the hypotheses and suggest there is a link between sense of belonging (peer, family, and school) and bullying behaviour. Limitations: The most notable limitation is that the data are cross-sectional, examining the variables at one particular time point, which eliminates the possibility of studying longitudinal impact. Further, all measured constructs examined were done through self-report assessments. Thus, observational and behavioural information was not collected or utilised in the current study. Conclusions: These findings have an important applied component and could lead to stronger intervention efforts. Specifically, interventions that focus on increasing positive peer-level interactions, coupled with a stronger sense of school community or belonging, could result in decreases in bullying behaviours.
Descriptors: Sense of Community, Bullying, Correlation, Peer Relationship, Family Relationship, Middle School Students, Rural Schools, Early Adolescents, Positive Behavior Supports, Predictor Variables
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A