Bullying in Elementary Schools: Students’ Perceptions of Bullying Acknowledgements Certificate of Originality I hereby certify that the content of this thesis is original and all material and ideas borrowed from other sources are properly cited and referenced…
37 Introduction 37 Rationale for the Research Design 43 Respondents 44 Population Sample 46 Demographics 46 Setting 47 Preliminary Procedures 48 Data Collection 48 In-depth Interviews 49 Secondary Data 51 Qualitative Data Analysis 51 Coding 53 Trustworthiness 58 Replication 59 Triangulation 60 Credibility 61 Dependability 62 Ethical Considerations 62 Informed Consent 63 Confidentiality 63 Page Intentionally Left Blank Bullying in Elementary Schools: Students' Perception of Bullying Chapter One Introduction and Overview Introduction Bullying in school is best understood as “peer abuse” (Olewus, 1996, p. 266). Similarly, Mishna (2004) defines bullying in schools as “peer victimisation” (p. 234). Describing bullying in terms of abuse and victimisation accords with the general understanding that bullying involves some form of repetitive harassment which can be emotional and/or physical (Arora, 1996). Bullying therefore involves victims and perpetrators both of whom have been associated with long term developmental psychological and social problems that can persist well into later life (Mishna, Scarcello, Pepler & Wiener, 2005). Bullying is a widespread safety issue at schools in the U.S. and efforts to contain bullying are compromised because bullying is the most “underreported safety problem on American school campuses” (Sampson, 2002, p. 1). The widespread problem of bullying and its consequences for individual schools and the school environment as a whole is captured in a report prepared by the US Department of Justice (2011). According to the US Department of Justice (2011), bullying fosters an atmosphere of “fear in schools” and victims often suffer psychological and performance problems emanating from “depression, low self-esteem, chronic absences, and trouble concentrating” (US Department of Justice, 2011). In order to put the problematic consequences of bullying into perspective a more complete understanding of what bullying is and what it entails is necessary. In this regard, Nansel, Overpect, Pilla, Ruan, Simons-Morton, and Scheidt (2001) explain that bullying involves repetitive aggressive behavior which the specific intent of harming or disturbing the victim/victims. The aggression is perpetrated in circumstances where there is inequality of power with the weaker party being the victim. The aggression can be physical, psychological or verbal. Therefore bullying can involve physical violence (physical), name-calling or threats (verbal) and/or rumors or social isolation (psychological) (Nansel, et. al., 2001). In a nationwide survey conducted by the US Department of Justice (2011) results indicated that 13.2% of students participating in bullying reporting having been subjected to physical bullying in 2010. According to the US Department of Justice (2011), 13% of students from grades 6-12 have bullied other students and 6% of students in those school years have been both victims and bullies. Complicating matters, 66% of students who have been bullied and participating in a nationwide sur ...
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