School climate and bullying victimization: a latent class growth model analysis.Sch Psychol Q. 2014 Sep; 29(3):256-271.SP
Researchers investigating school-level approaches for bullying prevention are beginning to discuss and target school climate as a construct that (a) may predict prevalence and (b) be an avenue for school-wide intervention efforts (i.e., increasing positive school climate). Although promising, research has not fully examined and established the social-ecological link between school climate factors and bullying/peer aggression. To address this gap, we examined the association between school climate factors and bullying victimization for 4,742 students in Grades 3-12 across 3 school years in a large, very diverse urban school district using latent class growth modeling. Across 3 different models (elementary, secondary, and transition to middle school), a 3-class model was identified, which included students at high-risk for bullying victimization. Results indicated that, for all students, respect for diversity and student differences (e.g., racial diversity) predicted within-class decreases in reports of bullying. High-risk elementary students reported that adult support in school was a significant predictor of within-class reduction of bullying, and high-risk secondary students report peer support as a significant predictor of within-class reduction of bullying.