Date of Award:

5-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Scott C. Bates

Abstract

Being bullied has been recognized as a problem within the U.S. school systems. Individuals who have been bullied physically, verbally, relationally, or electronically typically suffer from mental health problems as a result. As it has been shown that males are more at risk for being bullied, it is important to understand what variables can predict males being bullied in order to design appropriate preventions and interventions to curb bullying in the schools. Four forms of school bullying behaviors among U.S. adolescent males and their association with type of bullying, school environment, and school performance and engagement variables were examined.

Data were examined from the National Crime Victimization Survey School Crime Supplement. A sample of 1,636 males ages 14 to 18 was used from the survey. A series of logistic regression analyses were performed for each type of bullying (physical, verbal, relational, and cyber) and school environment (presence of gangs, guns, graffiti, drugs, and number of school safety measures in place) and school performance and engagement predictors (grades, extracurricular activity engagement, truancy, and number of fights). Linear regression analyses were also used to look at all the predictor variables and the frequency of each type of bullying.

Results: The R2 values for the logistic regression analyses were quite small. However, trends could be observed from the odds ratios showing that fighting, drug availability, and graffiti were predictive of all four forms of bullying. The linear regression analyses also produced small R2 values. Effect plots were created to identify which significant variables had a greater effect on the frequency of being bullied.

Conclusion: Schools should focus on removing graffiti and drugs from the schools. Prevention work should be used to help students find alternative ways to deal with problems other than resorting to fighting. Problems with reliability and validity of the survey are also discussed.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on April 11, 2011.

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