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Child and School-Level Predictors of Children's Bullying Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis in 648 Primary Schools

Fink, E; Patalay, P; Sharpe, H; Wolpert, M; (2017) Child and School-Level Predictors of Children's Bullying Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis in 648 Primary Schools. Journal of Educational Psychology , 110 (1) pp. 17-26. 10.1037/edu0000204. Green open access

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Abstract

A great deal of bullying behavior takes place at school, however, existing literature has predominantly focused on individual characteristics of children associated with bullying with less attention on school-level factors. The current study, comprising 23,215 children (51% boys) recruited from Year 4 or Year 5 (M = 9.06 years, SD = .56 years) from 648 primary schools in England, aimed to examine the independent and combined influence of child- and school-level predictors on bullying behavior in primary school. Children provided information on bullying behavior and school climate. Demographic characteristics of children were obtained from the National Pupil Database, and demographic characteristics of schools were drawn from EduBase. Multilevel logistic regression models showed that individual child gender, ethnicity, deprivation and special educational needs status all predicted bullying behavior. Of the school-level predictors, only overall school deprivation and school climate were predictive of bullying behavior once child-level predictors were taken into account. There was a significant interaction between child- and school-level deprivation; high-deprivation schools were a risk factor for bullying only for children that came from nondeprived backgrounds, whereas deprived children reported engaging in bullying behavior irrespective of school-level deprivation. Given the independent and combined role of child- and school-level factors for bullying behavior, the current study has implications for targeted school interventions to tackle bullying behavior, both in terms of identifying high-risk children and identifying high-risk schools.

Type: Article
Title: Child and School-Level Predictors of Children's Bullying Behavior: A Multilevel Analysis in 648 Primary Schools
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/edu0000204
Publisher version: http://doi.apa.org/doi/10.1037/edu0000204
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Bullying; school composition; school climate; multilevel analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555144
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