The impact of individual and school characteristics on types and levels of bullying in Newfoundland and Labrador schools

White, Gerald J. (2014) The impact of individual and school characteristics on types and levels of bullying in Newfoundland and Labrador schools. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Bullying in schools has been a concern for educational and health researchers for decades. Health related problems associated with being bullied include suicidal ideation, physical injury, anxiety and/or depression. This thesis research explored the impact of individual and school related factors on school bullying victimization and bullying by addressing three gaps in the literature: a theoretical approach, advanced statistical analysis, and the inclusion of school level variables. In particular, this research specifically applied the social-ecological theory to see which conditions in schools encouraged bullying, and which buffered it. The social-ecological theory emphasizes the need for the whole community of students, teachers, principals, staff, parents, and the outside community to play a role in preventing bullying. Data were collected from both students and teachers in order to determine which aspects of the school community mediated school bullying. Individual and school related factors, such as student focus, community and parent-engagement, caring culture, collaborative leadership, student engagement, student belonging, adult responsiveness, and a “bullying” culture were analyzed to ascertain their role in relation to physical, verbal, social and cyber victimization, and bullying behaviours. Data were collected in over 60 schools, with teachers (collected in March 2008) and students (collected in October and November, 2008). Students in Grades 6, 9, and 12 were selected for the study, covering all types of schools in the school district. Given the structure of the data, hierarchical linear modelling was used to take into account the impact of both individual and school related factors. This research concluded that bullying victimization and bullying are taking place in schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. Risk factors at the individual level for victimization and bullying include gender, grade level, having been a victim of previous bullying and victimization experiences, as well as being in schools that have climates of fear and antisocial behaviour. Schools with lower levels of bullying climate, caring cultures, and extracurricular activities protected students from both bullying and victimization. Based on the findings, recommendations on policy and future research are made that can lead to the provision of safer and more caring school environments. These recommendations, if implemented, will reduce bullying and therefore, the number of children who are at risk of not achieving the three determinants of health as a result of being bullied: child development, education, and safe schooling.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6399
Item ID: 6399
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-188).
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Community Health
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission

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