Online Program

Impact of parents and teachers on school bullying among elementary and middle school girls

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Curtis J. VanderWaal, MSW, PhD, Department of Social Work, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Gary Hopkins, MD, DrPH, Institute for Prevention of Addidtions, Department of Behavioral Science, Andrews University, Post Falls, ID
Lianne Wynne, Department of Social Work, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Alina Baltazar, MSW, Social Work Department, Andrews Univesity, Berrien Springs, MI
Duane C. McBride, PhD, Behavioral Science Department, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Bullying is a widespread problem among school-aged girls.  Researchers have found that around one-fourth of middle school girls said they were bullied, with a similar rate admitting to bullying others in the past year.

Survey data were collected in spring 2013 on 708 elementary and middle school girls across 28 schools in Berrien County, Michigan who participated in an afterschool fitness and character building program.

Frequencies showed that 39.3% of all girls admitted to bullying others by saying mean things, teasing or calling names to other students in the previous year. Elementary school girls (N=358) who believed they had teachers and other grownups at school who cared about them, listened to them, or believed they could do a good job were significantly more likely to not engage in bullying behaviors (OR=1.86, OR=1.87, and OR=1.77, respectively). In addition, elementary school girls who believed they had parents or other grownups at home who listened when they had something to say were significantly more likely not to bully others (OR=1.80). Further analyses will focus on differences between elementary and middle school girls and by ethnic group.

Elementary school girls who have supportive teachers and parents are significantly more likely not to bully others. Strengthening bonds and improving positive communication between girls and their parents and teachers may result in decreased bullying behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of parents and teachers on school bullying among elementary and middle school girls. Discuss the role of parents and teachers in bullying prevention among elementary school girls.

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have contributed to numerous research projects and published 36 articles, book chapters, research reports and monographs in government agencies and research journals, with research related to substance abuse and related policies, social capital, and community change issues. I have also conducted research and evaluation projects for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Health’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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.