A Multilevel, Statewide Investigation of School District Anti-Bullying Policy Quality and Student Bullying Involvement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although nearly all states in the United States require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, little research examines the effect of these policies on student bullying and health. Using a statewide sample, we investigated associations between the quality of school district anti-bullying policies and student bullying involvement and adjustment. METHODS: School district anti-bullying policies (N = 208) were coded for their quality based on established criteria. District-level data were combined with student reports of bullying involvement, emotional distress, and school connectedness from a state surveillance survey of 6th, 9th, and 12th grade students (N = 93,437). RESULTS: Results indicated that policy quality was positively related to bullying victimization. Furthermore, students reporting frequent perpetration/victimization who also attended districts with high-quality policies reported more emotional distress and less school connectedness compared with students attending districts with low quality policies. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of these associations was small. CONCLUSIONS: Having a high-quality school district anti-bullying policy is not sufficient to reduce bullying and protect bullying-involved young people. Future studies examining policy implementation will inform best practices in bullying prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume87
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • bullying
  • bullying policy
  • child and adolescent health
  • school connectedness
  • school policy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Multilevel, Statewide Investigation of School District Anti-Bullying Policy Quality and Student Bullying Involvement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this