217804 Reports of Bullying and Electronic Bullying from a Census of High School Students: Using Local Data to Inform School Programs and Policies

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Shari Kessel Schneider, MSPH , Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA
Lydia O'Donnell, EdD , Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA
Robert Coulter, MPH , Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA
Background/Purpose: The MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey is a multi-year regional initiative to provide communities with timely, local data on youth health and risk behaviors. Methods: MetroWest is a cluster of working- to upper-middle income cities and towns lying within a 25-mile radius west of Boston. In 2008, a census of students was conducted in 22 out of 25 high schools in the region. Surveys were obtained from 20,406 students, representing 88% of the 9th-12th grade population. Reflecting community concerns, items assessed a range of bullying behaviors. Findings: 29% of students were victims of bullying in the past 12 months, 27% were perpetrators, and 16% were both victims and perpetrators; 26% reported bullying on school grounds. Electronic bullying was defined as using the Internet, phone, or other electronic communications to bully, tease, or threaten; 16% of youth reported they were bullied electronically in the past 12 months, 11% were perpetrators, and 7% were both victims and perpetrators. Females are more likely than males to be victims of bullying, and especially electronic bullying (18% of females vs. 13% of males). There is a greater decrease in face-to-face bullying from 9th to 12th grade (37% to 20%) than in electronic bullying (17% to 13%). Conclusions: Within 4-6 months of data collection, each school receives a report on their student body, along with comparative regional, state, and national statistics. Benefits of using census data to inform local planning are discussed, along with strategies schools use to share information with key constituencies in their communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe gender patterns in bullying and e-bullying victimization and perpetration. 2. Discuss how a student census can inform local school and community health planning, policies and programs.

Keywords: School Health, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I contributed to data analysis and presentation of findings
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.