Factors associated with bullying behavior in middle school students

Kris Bosworth, Dorothy L. Espelage, Thomas R. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

284 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, bullying was examined as a continuum of mild-to-extreme behaviors, and the potential correlates of bullying others were delineated. To improve identification and targeting of those youth at risk for bullying, demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates were tested on a continuous measure of bullying behavior rated according to the number and frequency of behaviors. Among 558 middle school students surveyed in 1995, only 20% reported no bullying behavior. In multiple regression analysis, misconduct, anger, beliefs supportive of violence, confidence in using nonviolent strategies, and intentions to use nonviolent strategies were associated with levels of bullying behavior. Although boys reported more bullying behavior than did girls, gender was not a significant predictor in the multiple regression analysis. These study results were inconsistent with the perspective that early adolescents were either bullies or nonbullies and indicated the need for a comprehensive approach to preventing bullying behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-362
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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