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J Sch Psychol. 2012 Aug;50(4):521-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 May 15.

Patterns of adolescent bullying behaviors: physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber.

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  • 1Glotech, Inc, Rockville, MD, USA. wangji2@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

Patterns of engagement in cyber bullying and four types of traditional bullying were examined using latent class analysis (LCA). Demographic differences and externalizing problems were evaluated across latent class membership. Data were obtained from the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-aged Survey and the analytic sample included 7,508 U.S. adolescents in grades 6 through 10. LCA models were tested on physical bullying, verbal bullying, social exclusion, spreading rumors, and cyber bullying behaviors. Three latent classes were identified for each gender: All-Types Bullies (10.5% for boys and 4.0% for girls), Verbal/Social Bullies (29.3% for boys and 29.4% for girls), and a Non-Involved class (60.2% for boys and 66.6% for girls). Boys were more likely to be All-Types Bullies than girls. The prevalence rates of All-Types and Verbal/Social Bullies peaked during grades 6 to 8 and grades 7 and 8, respectively. Pairwise comparisons across the three latent classes on externalizing problems were conducted. Overall, the All-Types Bullies were at highest risk of using substances and carrying weapons, the Non-Involved were at lowest risk, and the Verbal/Social Bullies were in the middle. Results also suggest that most cyber bullies belong to a group of highly aggressive adolescents who conduct all types of bullying. This finding does not only improve our understanding of the relation between cyber bullying and traditional bullying, but it also suggests that prevention and intervention efforts could target cyber bullies as a high-risk group for elevated externalizing problems.

Copyright © 2012 Society for the Study of School Psychology. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22710019
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3379007
Free PMC Article
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