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Soc Psychol Educ. 2014 Jun 1;17(2):197-209.

Teacher Involvement as a Protective Factor from the Association between Race-Based Bullying and Smoking Initiation.

Author information

1
Yale School of Public Health, CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement; 135 College Street, Suite 200; New Haven, CT 06510.
2
Yale School of Public Health, CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement; 135 College Street, Suite 200; New Haven, CT 06510 ; Psychology Department, Pace University; 41 Park Row, 13 Floor; New York, NY 10038.
3
Yale School of Public Health, CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement; 135 College Street, Suite 200; New Haven, CT 06510 ; School of Public Health, Drexel University; 3215 Market Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104.
4
New Haven Public Schools; 54 Meadow Street; New Haven, CT 06519.

Abstract

Experiencing bullying as a victim is associated with negative health and health behavior outcomes, including substance use, among adolescents. However, understandings of protective factors - factors that enhance adolescents' resilience to the negative consequences of bullying - remain limited. The current study investigates whether teacher involvement protects adolescent students from the association between being bullied due to race and smoking initiation. Students were recruited from 12 Kindergarten through 8th grade schools in an urban school district in the Northeast United States. The analytic sample included 769 students who responded to surveys in 5th or 6th grade (2009), and two years later in 7th or 8th grade (2011). Students primarily identified as Latino and/or Black, and 90% were eligible for free or reduced lunch. Fifty-four (7%) students initiated smoking between survey time points. Among students reporting lower teacher involvement, race-based bullying was associated with higher likelihood of smoking initiation (OR = 1.69, p = .03). In contrast, among students reporting higher teacher involvement, racebased bullying was not associated with higher likelihood of smoking initiation (OR = 0.95, p = .81). Results suggest that teacher involvement may protect students from the association between race-based bullying and smoking initiation. Enhancing teacher involvement among students experiencing race-based bullying in schools may limit smoking initiation.

KEYWORDS:

bully victim; discrimination; race; smoking; teacher involvement

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