Date of Award

9-16-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminology

First Advisor

Jennifer Roberts, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Randy Martin, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

Jamie Martin, Ph. D.

Fourth Advisor

John Lewis, Ph. D.

Abstract

Bullying and responses to bullying have received increased attention in recent years (Thompson & Cohen, 2005). Much of this attention has resulted from various school shootings that have occurred, most notably the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Despite the rarity of school shootings, schools are under considerable pressure to develop and implement anti-bullying policies. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of individual level and organizational level factors towards teachers’ responses to bullying. Specifically, this study was interested in the likelihood of responding to physical, verbal, and relational bullying as well as teachers’ typical responses to these types of bullying. This study used a cross-sectional design and self-administered survey for data collection. The survey methodology for this study was adapted from Dillman’s (2007) tailored design, which recognizes that survey research must be designed, or tailored, to meet specific needs and characteristics of the proposed research project. Data were collected from 134 teachers in one public school district in a southern state. Quantitative analysis was used to examine the data. OLS regression was used for analyzing teachers’ likelihood of responding to bullying and logistic regression was used to analyze teachers’ typical responses. The findings from this study indicated that teachers’ responses to bullying situations were primarily influenced by the perceived seriousness of bullying episodes. Perceived seriousness of bullying situations was statistically significant for all three OLS regression models. In addition, the perceived seriousness of bullying was statistically significant when analyzing teachers’ typical least serious and most serious responses to physical bullying that involved hitting, kicking, pushing, or shoving. Future research should continue to explore bullying and teachers’ responses to bullying. Teachers’ perceptions of bullying and responses to bullying are vital for improving prevention and intervention strategies.

Share

COinS