Bullying victims’ perceptions of classroom interactions

The paper “Bullying victims’ perceptions of classroom interactions” is based on data from the CIESL-project. Findings indicate the importance of classroom interaction and peer relationships for bully victims, and the need to create positive teacher-student and student-student relations.

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Previous research indicate that the quality of classroom interactions is highly relevant for students’ development in general and more specific for bullying prevention and intervention. Classroom interactions and bullying are two major topics in debate about educational research. Even a great amount of research exists, these topics are still challenging for schools. In this study, bullying victims’ perceptions of classroom interactions was investigated, when level of mental health problems, peer relationships, gender and grade level were controlled for. A survey was administered to 1571 fifth- to 10th-grade students from 10 schools. Given the nested structure of the data, multilevel analyses was employed to examine these associations.

Findings revealed that bully victimization was significantly associated with weak teacher instructional support, but no significant association was observed between bully victimization and teachers’ emotional support or monitoring. These associations were negative when peer relationships were not controlled for, as victims reported teacher support and monitoring issues less frequently than non-victims did. When students felt included by peers, bully victims report about better teacher interactions also.

Findings underscore the importance of classroom interaction and peer relations for bullying prevention and intervention, in particular the need to create positive relationships between teachers and students and among students in the classroom. The creation of supportive network of peers in the classroom is of great importance, which is the teachers’ responsibility. In addition, to help victims to establish and maintain friendships, which prevent further negative development and avert bullying in general.

Full reference:

Havik, T. (2017). Bullying victims’ perceptions of classroom interaction. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(3), 350-373.