Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 208–218 | Cite as

Teachers’ Reaction in Homophobic Bullying Incidents: the Role of Self-efficacy and Homophobic Attitudes

  • Maria Rosaria Nappa
  • Benedetta Emanuela Palladino
  • Ersilia Menesini
  • Roberto Baiocco


Literature on homophobic bullying underlines that many teachers do not intervene in this kind of issue and often underestimate this type of bullying. At the same time, the protective role of teachers’ support for victimized students is well recognized. The present study aims to understand the processes that can lead to teachers’ activation against homophobic bullying. Two hundred and thirteen teachers belonging to different schools in Rome completed an anonymous questionnaire that assessed (a) reactions to homophobic bullying (feeling of powerlessness and positive activations), (b) homophobic attitudes, (c) teachers’ general perceived self-efficacy, and (d) perceived self-efficacy in managing homophobic bullying incidents. We used a structural equation model to test whether self-efficacy, both as a teacher and in managing homophobic bullying incidents, predicts both aspects of teachers’ reactions to homophobic bullying, controlling for homophobic attitudes. We found that lower levels of perceived self-efficacy in managing homophobic bullying incidents and higher levels of homophobic attitudes predict stronger feeling of powerlessness, while higher levels of perceived self-efficacy as a teacher and lower levels of homophobic attitudes predict stronger positive activation toward the victimized student. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.


Homophobic bullying Sexual orientation Teachers Homophobic attitudes Self-efficacy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Social PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Educational Sciences and PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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