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Soc Sci Med. 2015 Dec;147:47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.036. Epub 2015 Oct 19.

School-level contextual predictors of bullying and harassment experiences among adolescents.

Author information

1
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 717 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA. Electronic address: gowe0009@umn.edu.
2
School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Electronic address: mcmo0023@umn.edu.
3
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 717 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA. Electronic address: eisen012@umn.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bullying and prejudice-based harassment frequently occur in school settings and have significant consequences for the health and wellbeing of young people. Yet far fewer studies have examined the role of the school environment in peer harassment than individual factors. This multilevel study examined associations between a variety of school-level risk and protective factors and student-level reports of bullying and prejudice-based harassment during adolescence.

METHODS:

Data come from 8th, 9th, and 11th graders who completed the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (N = 122,180 students nested in 505 schools). School-level variables were created by aggregating student report data in five areas: academic orientation to school, internal assets, teacher-student relationship quality, feelings of safety at school, and receipt of disciplinary action.

RESULTS:

Results indicated that youth attending schools with a higher proportion of students with strong internal assets had lower odds of nearly every type of bullying and prejudice-based harassment assessed when compared to youth attending schools with a lower proportion of students with strong internal assets. Additionally, the proportion of students feeling unsafe at school was a fairly consistent risk factor for most types of peer harassment.

CONCLUSION:

Findings support the idea that prevention programs aimed at improving school-wide internal assets and feelings of safety at school may be key prevention points.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Bullying; Internal assets; Prejudice-based harassment; School context

PMID:
26523789
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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