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Bullying Victimization and Student Engagement in Elementary, Middle, and High Schools: Moderating Role of School Climate

  • Author(s): Yang, Chunyan
  • Sharkey, Jill D
  • Reed, Lauren A
  • Chen, Chun
  • Dowdy, Erin
  • et al.
Abstract

Bullying is the most common form of school violence and is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including traumatic responses. This study used hierarchical linear modeling to examine the multilevel moderating effects of school climate and school level (i.e., elementary, middle, and high schools) on the association between bullying victimization and student engagement. Participants included 25,896 students in 4th to 12th grades from 114 schools. Results indicated that, after controlling for student and school demographic factors, positive school climate was associated with higher behavioral/cognitive and emotional engagement of students across all grades. This highlights the critical and fundamental role of positive school climate in bullying prevention and intervention, among students across all grade levels, including those with frequent bullying victimization experience. Results also showed that negative associations between student-level bullying victimization and engagement were intensified in more positive school climates. This finding suggests that, in comparison with students in schools with less positive school climates, the engagement of bullying victims in schools with a more positive school climate might be more negatively influenced by their victimization experience. Additionally, the relation between student-level bullying victimization and emotional engagement was significantly different across middle and high schools. (PsycINFO Database Record

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