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Parent/Child Concordance about Bullying Involvement and Family Characteristics Related to Bullying and Peer Victimization

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2009
22 pages
This study examined perspectives on bullying parent/child, concordance about bullying involvements, and family characteristics associated with bullying perpetration and peer victimization.
Results suggest that there is weak concordance between parent and child reports of bullying involvement, particularly with respect to bullying perpetration. Certain family characteristics were related to bullying involvement, conflicted home environments and lack of supervision, but only when child self-reports were used to identify youth as victims of bullies. Most parents recognized that bullying is harmful to children, and the majority of parents indicated that bullying should be addressed to a greater extent within the schools. That parents are aware of the negative consequences of bullying is a key component of parent education efforts. There was a moderate degree of concordance between child and parent reports of peer victimization; specifically, among youth who reported being victimized by peers, approximately 10 percent of parents reported this same problem, whereas approximately 6 percent of parents did not report that their child had been victimized. Results were even more striking when concordance rates of bullying perpetration were considered. Among children who reported teasing others, 2 percent of their parents also indicated that their children had teased or picked on others whereas 11 percent did not believe that their child had done so; this suggests that children are more inclined to tell their parents about being victimized than about bullying others. As for families’ characteristics, bullies were more likely to live in homes with mothers only, adding to the previously missed findings on family structure and bullying; there were significantly higher rates of child maltreatment for victims and bullies as well as higher rates of exposure to domestic violence. Data were collected from 205 5th grade students and their parents or guardians. Tables and references

Date Published: January 1, 2009