Child- and school-level predictors of children's bullying behavior: A multilevel analysis in 648 primary schools
Journal of Educational Psychology
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Fink, E., Patalay, P., Sharpe, H., & Wolpert, M. (2018). Child- and school-level predictors of children's bullying behavior: A multilevel analysis in 648 primary schools. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110 (1), 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000204
© 2017 American Psychological Association. A great deal of bullying behavior takes place at school, however, existing literature has predominantly focused on individual characteristics of children associated with bullying with less attention on schoollevel factors. The current study, comprising 23,215 children (51% boys) recruited from Year 4 or Year 5 (M = 9.06 years, SD = .56 years) from 648 primary schools in England, aimed to examine the independent and combined influence of child- and school-level predictors on bullying behavior in primary school. Children provided information on bullying behavior and school climate. Demographic characteristics of children were obtained from the National Pupil Database, and demographic characteristics of schools were drawn from EduBase. Multilevel logistic regression models showed that individual child gender, ethnicity, deprivation and special educational needs status all predicted bullying behavior. Of the school-level predictors, only overall school deprivation and school climate were predictive of bullying behavior once child-level predictors were taken into account. There was a significant interaction between child- and school-level deprivation; high-deprivation schools were a risk factor for bullying only for children that came from nondeprived backgrounds, whereas deprived children reported engaging in bullying behavior irrespective of school-level deprivation. Given the independent and combined role of child- and school-level factors for bullying behavior, the current study has implications for targeted school interventions to tackle bullying behavior, both in terms of identifying high-risk children and identifying high-risk schools.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000204
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/287766