School Climate Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of School Climate and Middle School Bullying Behaviors

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether student perceptions of school climate were associated with traditional and cyber bullying participant behaviors over the course of a school year. Additionally, gender was explored as a moderator in the associations between school climate perceptions and bullying participant behaviors. Data were collected from 870 6th through 8th grade middle school students using the Bullying Participant Behaviors Questionnaire (BPBQ; Demaray et al. 2014), the Cyber Victimization Survey (CVS; Brown et al. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 12–21, 2014), and the Safe and Responsive Schools Safe Schools Survey–Secondary Form (SRS; Skiba et al. School Violence Research, 3, 149–171, 2004). Results indicated students’ perceptions of school climate were significantly related to maladaptive bullying role behaviors (traditional and cyber bullying, traditional and cyber victimization, assisting in bullying, and outsider behaviors) but not adaptive role behaviors (defending). There were significant gender interactions with school climate, particularly with perceptions of delinquency/major safety at school. Implications concerning these findings are discussed.

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Correspondence to Nicole B. Dorio.

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Dorio, N.B., Clark, K.N., Demaray, M.K. et al. School Climate Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of School Climate and Middle School Bullying Behaviors. Int Journal of Bullying Prevention 2, 292–308 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-019-00038-2

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Keywords

  • School climate
  • Bullying
  • Victimization
  • Defending
  • Assisting
  • Outsider
  • Cyber victimization
  • Cyber bullying