Disability, poverty, and other risk factors associated with involvement in bullying behaviors
Author ORCID Identifier
Christine Malecki: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4155-8708
Journal of School Psychology
Using a stigma-based bullying framework, the current study investigated how (a) disability status was related to bullying-related behaviors when controlling for gender, grade level, and free or reduced lunch status; (b) gender, grade level, and free or reduced lunch status moderated the associations of disability status with bullying-related behaviors; and (c) classification in specific disability categories was associated with bullying-related behaviors with a sample of 10,483 students (47.8% female) in elementary, middle, and high school. School records data were collected on grade level, gender, free or reduced lunch price status, disability status, and disability category. Students completed the Bullying Participant Behaviors Questionnaire (BPBQ), rating five types of bully role behaviors (bullying behavior, assistant behavior, victimization, defending behavior, and outsider behavior). Findings indicated that having a disability was associated with increased victimization, assisting, and defending behavior. Furthermore, disability status interacted in meaningful ways with several demographic factors: (a) females with a disability reported more victimization and reported engaging in more outsider behaviors than females without a disability, (b) elementary students with a disability reported more assisting and less defending behaviors than those without a disability, (c) high school students with a disability reported less bullying and assisting behaviors and more defending behaviors than those without a disability, and (d) students with a disability from low socioeconomic backgrounds reported more bullying and outsider behaviors than students not from lower socioeconomic family backgrounds. When comparing students from specific disability categories to those with no disability, students with an emotional disability reported more assisting, victimization, and outsider behaviors; students with other health impairment reported more assisting, victimization, and defending; students with autism reported less defending and outsider behaviors; and students with a learning disability reported more defending behavior. Exploratory analyses of the effects of school-level factors found that school size (enrollment) was positively related to prevalence of assisting and outsider behavior. The percentage of low-income students in a school was positively associated with the extent of victimization and defending behaviors reported, but negatively associated with the extent of outsider behaviors reported.
Bully role behaviors, Bullying, Disability, Risk, Stigma, bias, defending, Victimization
Malecki, Christine K.; Demaray, Michelle K.; Smith, Thomas J.; and Emmons, Jonathan, "Disability, poverty, and other risk factors associated with involvement in bullying behaviors" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 222.
Department of Psychology