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Peer Victimization in Schools: A Set of Quantitative and Qualitative Studies of the Connections Among Peer Victimization, School Engagement, Truancy, School Achievement, and Other Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2009
291 pages
This report presents the results of three studies that examined the connections among the variables of peer victimization, school engagement, truancy, school achievement, and school attendance.
Results from the first study indicate that while being a victim of bullying may not directly lead to truancy and low school achievement, remaining or becoming engaged in school may act as mediating factor in protecting the victims' level of school achievement and attendance. The second study examined the school experiences of bullied victims and found that what schools do for victims falls into two categories: what schools do that currently helps and hurts bullied students, and what schools could and should do to help victims. Schools help victims by engaging them academically, yet hurt them by changing the structures of the learning environment, from caring and engaging in elementary school to more diluted and distant in high school. The third study explored the experiences and views of teachers with regard to solutions for dealing with bullying in schools. The teachers advocated the teaching of caring to the students as a way to combat bullying: students should be taught to care for themselves, students should be taught to care for others, and students should be taught to care for their community. Based on the results of the three studies and a literature review conducted by the authors of this report, a set of recommendations is provided for dealing with bullying. The first is to focus on engagement; 2) model caring behavior; 3) offer mentoring programs; 4) provide opportunities for community service, in and out of school; 5) re-examine the transitions in the school structure; 6) start early, with the young ones; and 7) resist the temptation of "bullying in a box." Figures, tables, and references

Date Published: July 1, 2009