Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

While many school bullying prevention programs have been designed to thwart school bullying perpetration, victimization, and physical aggression, empirical support is limited. To date, few researchers have addressed bullying within the context of children's cultural systems, and cultural awareness training has not yet been utilized as a mechanism to decrease bullying behaviors in the context of school bullying prevention programs.

This study examined the utility of incorporating multicultural training aimed at reducing prejudice within the context of school bullying prevention programming efforts within a diverse educational setting. This researcher hypothesized that the addition of meaningful culture curriculum would further reduce reports of bullying perpetration, victimization, and physical aggression.

Students in two fifth-grade classrooms at an urban public school were randomly assigned to either the intervention or delayed treatment control group. Students in the intervention participated in Second Step and culture curricula while other students were included in a control activity. Those in the delayed treatment control group received Second Step after the intervention group completed all programming. Student self-report data was collected at 5 unique time points and included experiences of bullying perpetration, victimization, and physical aggression; empathy, self-control, and engagement social skills; sense of school belonging; subjective well-being; and valuing/acceptance of one's own and others' cultures.

Hierarchical Liner Modeling was utilized to analyze data. Results of the multilevel model indicated that, following implementation of the Second Step intervention, a significant slope decrease in the amount of bullying perpetration for students in the intervention compared to control students (β16 = -.05, SE = .02, z = -2.23, p < .05). In addition, data illustrated a significant slope increase in levels of perceived self-control for students in the intervention group (β16 = .12, SE = .06, z = 2.10, p < .05). Notably, two significant classroom by condition interactions were found for bullying perpetration (β17 = -.14, SE = .05, z = -2.69, p < .01) and bullying victimization (β17 = -.50, SE = .25, z = -2.00, p < .05). Thus, invention students in classroom 1 reported significantly lower bullying perpetration and victimization compared to intervention students in classroom 2.

Further, after the addition of cultural lessons, results showed a significant slope increase for valuing others' cultures (β16 = .18, SE = .08, z = 2.09, p < .05), acceptance of others' cultures (β16 = .13, SE = .06, z = 1.89, p < .05), and perceived self-control (β16 = .08, SE = .03, z = 2.78, p < .01). Two significant classroom by condition interactions existed for physical aggression (β17 = .18, SE = .06, z = 2.93, p < .01) and subjective well-being (β17 = -.40, SE = .17, z = -2.41, p < .05) wherein intervention students in classroom 1 reported significantly lower physical aggression and higher levels of subjective well-being compared to intervention students in classroom 2.

Research findings indicate the viability of incorporating multicultural training with established bullying prevention efforts in order to increase valuing and acceptance of others' cultures while ultimately enhancing students' perceived self-control and reducing bullying acts. Furthermore, these results illuminate the necessity of focusing special attention on classroom variables that may significantly affect the success of bullying prevention programs with an urban, primary educational setting.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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