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Peer, teacher, parental and school bonding for students involved in bullying situations: a comparison of the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims

Jannick Demanet UGent and Mieke Van Houtte UGent (2011) European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions.
abstract
Being involved in bullying episodes can provide a threat for healthy youth development. Studies find that being victimized results in a multitude of psychomatic problems, such as depression (Slee, 1995). Being a bully can result in some serious health-related consequences as well. Bullies are shown to be as vulnerable to feelings of depression as victims (Slee, 1995). Moreover, bullies have a poorer psychosocial functioning than others (Haynie et al., 2001), resolving conflicts mostly by aggression (Bosworth, Espelage, & Simon, 1999). Bully/victims - a third group of students who are both bully and victim - are considered to be an especially high-risk group (Haynie et al., 2001), being most likely to be confronted with depression, problem behavior, and poor social and emotional adjustment (Haynie et al., 2001). While such psychosomatic and emotional consequences of taking part in bullying episodes have been adequately investigated in previous research, studies on the social outcomes have been scarcer (Demaray & Malecki, 2003). Research on these social outcomes has focused mostly on peer relations (Hodges & Perry, 1999; Demanet, 2008; Rodkin & Hodges, 2003), parental relations (Stevens, De Bourdeaudhuij, & Van Oost, 2002), or school belonging and alienation of students involved in bullying episodes (Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1996). However, these studies do not investigate a comprehensive set of outcomes, investigating peers, parents, and schools simultaneously (for a notable exception, see Demaray and Malecki, 2003). Moreover, relationships of bullies, victims, and bully/victims with teachers are underexposed in previous research. In the proposed study, we investigate whether non-involved students, bullies, victims, and bully/victims hold different relations with peers, teachers, parents, and the school. We consider an elaborate set of outcomes, namely the number of friendships students have, feelings of attachment they have with peers and parents, the support they receive from teachers, and their belonging to school. Our study extends this line of research by focusing on an extensive dataset of 11,872 students in 85 schools, representative for the Flemish situation (Flanders is the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), whereas previous research mainly focused on data in one school (Demaray and Malecki, 2003). Furthermore, this study adds to the growing literature on bully/victims, a group of students that has largely been neglected in the past (Veenstra et al., 2005), but is increasingly recognized as an important group to focus on in relation to health-related outcomes (Demaray & Malecki, 2003; Veenstra et al., 2005). Lastly, research on bullying behaviour has mainly focused on univariate analyses (Veenstra et al., 2005), which possibly does not account for covariates or intermediate relationships. We account for this by taking account of possible covariates of bully status, such as gender, grade, track attended, and SES. While focusing on the Flemish situation, our study is valuable for international audiences, being the only study to date to cover this question on such an extensive data set and elaborate set of outcomes. Hence, this study can provide directions for research in other European and non-European countries. Methodology or Methods: The data were part of the Flemish Educational Assessment (FlEA), gathered in the 2004–2005 school year in 85 Flemish secondary schools. We have data on 11,872 students, and the data set is representative for the Flemish situation. We determined whether there are significant differences between the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims with respect to their number of friendships, social standing, peer and parental attachment, perceived teacher support, and general school belonging. To do so, we performed one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) with the bonding measures as dependent variables. To investigate whether the differences between the bullying groups are not due to covariates, we controlled additionally for a number of variables, namely gender, grade, track attended, and socio-economic status. Subsequently, we performed post-hoc tests on the controlled means of the bullying groups to examine the between-group differences in more detail. For this, we used the Bonferonni procedure, as this reduces Type I-errors and keeps the overall p value to .05. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings Our results show that there are indeed important differences between the different groups of students on the bonding measures. Those not involved in bullying situations, either as a bully, victim, or bully/victim, feel most closely connected to their peers, their teachers, their parents, and the school environment. However, they are surpassed by bullies with regard to their number of friendships and social standing within the school, which shows that bullying is an acceptable strategy for many students. Bullies, furthermore, are overall better off than victims and bully/victims, with regard to their teacher support, parental attachment, and school belonging. Victims, then, score on every indicator of social attachment lower than bullies, being especially deprived of peer popularity. However, in comparison to the non-involved, bullies, and victims, bully/victims have the lowest overall attachment to significant others, feeling least attached to their peers and parents, perceiving to receive least teacher support, and feeling least at home at school. However, they do not differ from any of the other groups with regard to peer popularity. References: Bosworth, K., Espelage, D. L., & Simon, T. R. (1999). Factors associated with bullying behavior in middle school students. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 341-362. Demanet, J. (2008). Populair of verstoten? Een netwerkanalytisch onderzoek naar de sociale kenmerken van pesters in het Vlaamse secundaire onderwijs [Popular or isolated? A network analytical study for the social characteristics of bullies in Flemish secondary schools]. Tijdschrift voor sociologie, 29, 397-423. Demaray, M. K. & Malecki, C. K. (2003). Perceptions of the frequency and importance of social support by students classified as victims, bullies, and bully/victims in an urban middle school. School Psychology Review, 32, 471-489. Haynie, D. L., Nansel, T., Eitel, P., Crump, A. D., Saylor, K., Yu, K. et al. (2001). Bullies, victims, and bully/victims: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 29-49. Hodges, E. V. E. & Perry, D. G. (1999). Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimization by peers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 677-685. Kochenderfer, B. J. & Ladd, G. W. (1996). Peer victimization: Cause or consequence of school maladjustment? Child Development, 67, 1305-1317. Rodkin, P. C. & Hodges, E. V. E. (2003). Bullies and victims in the peer ecology: Four questions for psychologists and school professionals. School Psychology Review, 32, 384-400. Slee, P. T. (1995). Peer victimization and its relationship to depression among Australian primary school students. Personality and Individual Differences, 18, 57-62. Stevens, V., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Van Oost, P. (2002). Relationship of the family environment to children's involvement in bully/victim problems at school. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31, 419-428. Veenstra, R., Lindenberg, S., Oldehinkel, A. J., De Winter, A. F., Verhulst, F. C., & Ormel, J. (2005). Bullying and victimization in elementary schools: A comparison of bullies, victims, bully/victims, and uninvolved preadolescents. Developmental Psychology, 41, 672-682.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
published
subject
in
European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions
publisher
European Educational Research Association (EERA)
conference name
European Conference on Educational Research 2010 (ECER 2010) : Education an cultural change
conference location
Berlin, Germany
conference start
2011-09-13
conference end
2011-09-16
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C3
id
1907641
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1907641
date created
2011-09-23 10:44:40
date last changed
2011-09-23 14:14:22
@inproceedings{1907641,
  abstract     = {Being involved in bullying episodes can provide a threat for healthy youth development. Studies find that being victimized results in a multitude of psychomatic problems, such as depression (Slee, 1995). Being a bully can result in some serious health-related consequences as well. Bullies are shown to be as vulnerable to feelings of depression as victims (Slee, 1995). Moreover, bullies have a poorer psychosocial functioning than others (Haynie et al., 2001), resolving conflicts mostly by aggression (Bosworth, Espelage, \& Simon, 1999). Bully/victims - a third group of students who are both bully and victim - are considered to be an especially high-risk group (Haynie et al., 2001), being most likely to be confronted with depression, problem behavior, and poor social and emotional adjustment (Haynie et al., 2001). While such psychosomatic and emotional consequences of taking part in bullying episodes have been adequately investigated in previous research, studies on the social outcomes have been scarcer (Demaray \& Malecki, 2003). Research on these social outcomes has focused mostly on peer relations (Hodges \& Perry, 1999; Demanet, 2008; Rodkin \& Hodges, 2003), parental relations (Stevens, De Bourdeaudhuij, \& Van Oost, 2002), or school belonging and alienation of students involved in bullying episodes (Kochenderfer \& Ladd, 1996). However, these studies do not investigate a comprehensive set of outcomes, investigating peers, parents, and schools simultaneously (for a notable exception, see Demaray and Malecki, 2003). Moreover, relationships of bullies, victims, and bully/victims with teachers are underexposed in previous research. In the proposed study, we investigate whether non-involved students, bullies, victims, and bully/victims hold different relations with peers, teachers, parents, and the school. We consider an elaborate set of outcomes, namely the number of friendships students have, feelings of attachment they have with peers and parents, the support they receive from teachers, and their belonging to school. Our study extends this line of research by focusing on an extensive dataset of 11,872 students in 85 schools, representative for the Flemish situation (Flanders is the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), whereas previous research mainly focused on data in one school (Demaray and Malecki, 2003). Furthermore, this study adds to the growing literature on bully/victims, a group of students that has largely been neglected in the past (Veenstra et al., 2005), but is increasingly recognized as an important group to focus on in relation to health-related outcomes (Demaray \& Malecki, 2003; Veenstra et al., 2005). Lastly, research on bullying behaviour has mainly focused on univariate analyses (Veenstra et al., 2005), which possibly does not account for covariates or intermediate relationships. We account for this by taking account of possible covariates of bully status, such as gender, grade, track attended, and SES. While focusing on the Flemish situation, our study is valuable for international audiences, being the only study to date to cover this question on such an extensive data set and elaborate set of outcomes. Hence, this study can provide directions for research in other European and non-European countries. Methodology or Methods: The data were part of the Flemish Educational Assessment (FlEA), gathered in the 2004--2005 school year in 85 Flemish secondary schools. We have data on 11,872 students, and the data set is representative for the Flemish situation. We determined whether there are significant differences between the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims with respect to their number of friendships, social standing, peer and parental attachment, perceived teacher support, and general school belonging. To do so, we performed one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) with the bonding measures as dependent variables. To investigate whether the differences between the bullying groups are not due to covariates, we controlled additionally for a number of variables, namely gender, grade, track attended, and socio-economic status. Subsequently, we performed post-hoc tests on the controlled means of the bullying groups to examine the between-group differences in more detail. For this, we used the Bonferonni procedure, as this reduces Type I-errors and keeps the overall p value to .05. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings Our results show that there are indeed important differences between the different groups of students on the bonding measures. Those not involved in bullying situations, either as a bully, victim, or bully/victim, feel most closely connected to their peers, their teachers, their parents, and the school environment. However, they are surpassed by bullies with regard to their number of friendships and social standing within the school, which shows that bullying is an acceptable strategy for many students. Bullies, furthermore, are overall better off than victims and bully/victims, with regard to their teacher support, parental attachment, and school belonging. Victims, then, score on every indicator of social attachment lower than bullies, being especially deprived of peer popularity. However, in comparison to the non-involved, bullies, and victims, bully/victims have the lowest overall attachment to significant others, feeling least attached to their peers and parents, perceiving to receive least teacher support, and feeling least at home at school. However, they do not differ from any of the other groups with regard to peer popularity. References: Bosworth, K., Espelage, D. L., \& Simon, T. R. (1999). Factors associated with bullying behavior in middle school students. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 341-362. Demanet, J. (2008). Populair of verstoten? Een netwerkanalytisch onderzoek naar de sociale kenmerken van pesters in het Vlaamse secundaire onderwijs [Popular or isolated? A network analytical study for the social characteristics of bullies in Flemish secondary schools]. Tijdschrift voor sociologie, 29, 397-423. Demaray, M. K. \& Malecki, C. K. (2003). Perceptions of the frequency and importance of social support by students classified as victims, bullies, and bully/victims in an urban middle school. School Psychology Review, 32, 471-489. Haynie, D. L., Nansel, T., Eitel, P., Crump, A. D., Saylor, K., Yu, K. et al. (2001). Bullies, victims, and bully/victims: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 29-49. Hodges, E. V. E. \& Perry, D. G. (1999). Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimization by peers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 677-685. Kochenderfer, B. J. \& Ladd, G. W. (1996). Peer victimization: Cause or consequence of school maladjustment? Child Development, 67, 1305-1317. Rodkin, P. C. \& Hodges, E. V. E. (2003). Bullies and victims in the peer ecology: Four questions for psychologists and school professionals. School Psychology Review, 32, 384-400. Slee, P. T. (1995). Peer victimization and its relationship to depression among Australian primary school students. Personality and Individual Differences, 18, 57-62. Stevens, V., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., \& Van Oost, P. (2002). Relationship of the family environment to children's involvement in bully/victim problems at school. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31, 419-428. Veenstra, R., Lindenberg, S., Oldehinkel, A. J., De Winter, A. F., Verhulst, F. C., \& Ormel, J. (2005). Bullying and victimization in elementary schools: A comparison of bullies, victims, bully/victims, and uninvolved preadolescents. Developmental Psychology, 41, 672-682.},
  author       = {Demanet, Jannick and Van Houtte, Mieke},
  booktitle    = {European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Berlin, Germany},
  publisher    = {European Educational Research Association (EERA)},
  title        = {Peer, teacher, parental and school bonding for students involved in bullying situations: a comparison of the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Demanet, Jannick, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2011. “Peer, Teacher, Parental and School Bonding for Students Involved in Bullying Situations: a Comparison of the Non-involved, Bullies, Victims, and Bully/victims.” In European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions. European Educational Research Association (EERA).
APA
Demanet, J., & Van Houtte, M. (2011). Peer, teacher, parental and school bonding for students involved in bullying situations: a comparison of the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims. European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions. Presented at the European Conference on Educational Research 2010 (ECER 2010) : Education an cultural change, European Educational Research Association (EERA).
Vancouver
1.
Demanet J, Van Houtte M. Peer, teacher, parental and school bonding for students involved in bullying situations: a comparison of the non-involved, bullies, victims, and bully/victims. European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions. European Educational Research Association (EERA); 2011.
MLA
Demanet, Jannick, and Mieke Van Houtte. “Peer, Teacher, Parental and School Bonding for Students Involved in Bullying Situations: a Comparison of the Non-involved, Bullies, Victims, and Bully/victims.” European Conference on Educational Research, Contributions. European Educational Research Association (EERA), 2011. Print.