Immigration status, peer victimization, and negative emotions as they relate to bullying behavior among school-aged children

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University of Alabama Libraries

Bullying encompasses aggressive behaviors in a situation where an individual experiences negative actions from one or more individuals repeatedly and over time in the forms of emotional, verbal, physical, race-based, and cyber aggressiveness. Anti-bullying research and interventions ensure healthy school climate for students as well as promote individual development and academic success. The current dissertation study investigated bullying perpetration and its association with risk factors identified by general strain theory (GST): limited financial resource, parental rejection, peer victimization, chronic disease, and negative school experience. The mediating role of negative emotions identified by GST was also tested in this study. In addition, guided by minority stress theory, this study investigated whether a student’s immigration status affected the relationship between risk factors and bullying perpetration. Using the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study 2009-2010 cycle, four groups of weighted least squared linear regression models were conducted to examine hypothesized relationships. Study results indicated that bullying was associated with negative emotions, peer victimization, immigration status, being Hispanic, negative school experience, the interaction between immigration status and peer victimization, and the interaction between immigration status and negative emotions. The mediating role of negative emotions was not supported by this study. The association between negative emotions, peer victimization, and bullying perpetration varied across different immigrant status groups. It was concluded that, generalizing from this nationally representative sample, bullying among immigrant children was clearly a rich and complex problem that merited further study. The implications for cultural-sensitive interventions in bullying behaviors, as well as the limitations of the study and directions for future research were presented.

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Social work, Social research, Social sciences education