School Bullying: The Discrepancy Between Students' and Staff Members' Reports
Selissen, Kelley Marie
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While many studies support the fact that bullying is a concern for school staff members and students alike, few studies have examined the potential discrepancies between staff members' and students' perceptions of bullying. This cross-sectional study investigated middle school staff members' and students' perceptions of bullying at a Midwestern middle school in order to better understand the similarities and/or differences between staff members' and students' perceptions of bullying. This study also explored gender differences and grade-level differences in students' perceptions of bullying. A total of 571 6th through gth grade students and 57 school staff members provided information regarding their perceptions of the frequency of specific forms of bullying, the locations where bullying occurs, who students report bullying behaviors to, the effectiveness and frequency of reporting bullying behavior, and the characteristics of the bullying victims and perpetrators. Results revealed statistically significant differences between students' and staff members' reports in all areas assessed. Staff members generally perceived more student involvement in specific bullying behaviors than did students, but they overestimated both the number of students who report bullying incidents to staff members and the efficacy of reporting such behaviors. Additionally, there were significant gender and grade-level differences in students' perceptions of bullying. The current study contributes to the existing literature on bullying and highlights the need to address both students' and school staff members' knowledge of and attitudes towards bullying.
Bullying in schools--Public opinion
Middle school teachers--Attitudes
Middle school students--Attitudes