The dependent variable in the proposed research will consist of the rate of bullying evident in a variety of schools having different characteristics, expressed as a percentage. As such the dependent variable will be a ratio-type variable, having the ability to be expressed as a measurable number of fine distinctions possible as to quantity. The independent variables to be utilized for this study will be drawn from data provided in the Statistical Abstracts, including age-level of students (expressed as an ordinal variable measured as elementary, middle, of high school), enrollment of school (expressed as ordinal breakdowns determining the size of schools), and minority enrollment within schools (again expressed as an ordinal breakdown). It is expected that these different independent variables will each have an impact on the rate of bullying, as they determine the developmental age of students, as well as the size and supposed social stresses and inter-community cohesion of the various school types. The proposed relationships of the variables will be as The basic research problem will be to discover how the age and population characteristics of a given school are associated with incident rates of bullying.It is expected that the older the student population, the more likely it will be that bullying will be prevalent, largely because the students will be more likely to be willing to use coercion and violence against their peers as they grow into their own independence. This leads to the following hypothesis.
H1. The older the student population, the higher the rate of bullying that will exist.
Similarly it is expected that the larger a school is the more likely bullying will be prevalent, because (1) the school community will be more difficult to govern, and (2) the larger number of students will likely include more of the personality type that is prone to violence and bullying. This results in the second hypothesis.
H2. The larger the school, the higher the rate of bullying that will exist.
Finally, it is expected that the higher the rate of minority students within a given school, the more likely bullying will be prevalent. It is expected that two factors will work toward this end. First, the prevalence of more diverse communities will likely result in more social cohesion problems at this developmental age. Second, it is expected that minority students will be more likely to be involved in bullying, either as its victims, or as perpetrators, as they seek to express their own independence. This leads to the third hypothesis.
H3. The larger the minority enrollment, the higher the r