Administered in: College of Education
This project will use social ecological theory to investigate modifiable factors in family, classroom, school, and neighborhood contexts that are associated with or predictive of bullying victimization in 3rd-5th grade, the extent to which these social contextual factors function as mediators or moderators of other explanatory factors (e.g., family sociodemographic level, children’s K–2nd grade academic or behavioral functioning), and whether and to what extent bullying victimization is related to children’s academic, behavioral, and socioemotional functioning at the end of 5th grade. Despite meta-analyses indicating that elementary school is the optimal time period for bullying prevention interventions, the available empirical work has mostly analyzed samples of adolescents, used cross-sectional or short-term (e.g., one year) longitudinal designs, relied on single-item or -reporter bullying victimization measures that do not include specific subtypes, used no or very limited statistical control for potential confounds, and/or do not report on risk or protective factors as early as the primary grades. Consequently, the field’s knowledge base about the early risk and protective factors for bullying victimization, how victimization and perpetration inter-relate dynamically over time across the elementary grades, and the extent to which bullying victimization is related to children’s academic, behavioral, executive, and socioemotional functioning at the end of elementary school is currently very limited. Particularly limited is rigorously derived knowledge about the modifiable factors in children’s social ecological contexts (i.e., families, classrooms, schools, and neighborhoods) that constitute promising targets of bullying prevention interventions and how these contextual factors may mediate or moderate other modifiable factors including children’s early academic or behavioral functioning.