3 years ago

Patterns of Bullying and Sexual Harassment: Connections with Parents and Teachers as Direct Protective Factors

Barbara J. McMorris, Amy L. Gower, Jessie H. Rudi, Iris W. Borowsky, Jennifer L. Doty

Abstract

Involvement in bullying and sexual harassment in adolescence is associated with a variety of internalizing, externalizing, and health-risk behaviors. Yet, the two behaviors are often studied independently. The current study examined how bullying and sexual harassment co-occur and whether social connections protected youth from risk patterns. The data for this study come from the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (N = 121,311; 50% female, 74% White, 26% received free or reduced-price lunch; M age = 14.9, SD = 1.3). Students reported on bullying and sexual harassment victimization and perpetration. Using latent class analysis, youth were classified into five patterns: High-Risk of All Forms of Victimization and Perpetration (7%), Relational and Cyberbullying Victimization (17%), Sexual Harassment Victimization and Perpetration (8%), Physical Bullying Perpetration (6%), and Low-Risk (62%). Compared to the low-risk class, the four other classes had lower levels of social connections, particularly with teachers and parents. Older youth (9th and 11th grade students) were at greater risk for the sexual harassment pattern, while younger youth (8th grade students) were at greater risk for bullying patterns. The results indicate that efforts to reduce bullying should also address sexual harassment and social connections with adults.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-017-0698-0

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-017-0698-0

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