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NCJ Number: 236541 Find in a Library
Title: Early Adolescent Peer Ecologies in Rural Communities: Bullying in Schools That Do and Do not Have a Transition During the Middle Grades
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:40  Issue:9  Dated:September 2011  Pages:1106-1117
Author(s): Thomas W. Farmer; Jill V. Hamm; Man-Chi Leung; Kerrylin Lambert; Maggie Gravelle
Date Published: September 2011
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Institute of Education Sciences
Washington, DC 20208-5500
Grant Number: R305A04056
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the risk for bullying in rural schools that do and do not have a transition to middle school.
Abstract: The transition to middle school is considered to be a heightened period for involvement in bullying because the lack of a defined dominance hierarchy is thought to promote jockeying for social positions among students. Accordingly, this study examined bullying in peer ecologies at the beginning of the middle grade years in rural schools that did and did not have a transition to middle school. Thirty-six schools (20 with transitions, 16 without transitions) participated in this research with a sample of 1,800 participants (52 percent female) who were in sixth grade during the second year of data collection. Overall, 67 percent were White, 19 percent African-American, 7 percent Latino, 2 percent Native American, and 5 percent other (multi-racial, Asian, unknown). Compared to schools without a transition, schools with a transition had fewer bullies following the move from fifth to sixth grade and the social dynamics in schools with a transition appeared to be less supportive of bullying. Further, students in schools with a transition reported being bullied less frequently in sixth grade and they perceived the sixth grade peer ecology as being more protective against bullying than did students in schools without a transition. In addition, proportionally more youth had controversial sociometric status in schools without a transition during sixth grade than in schools with a transition. Collectively, these findings suggest that risk for involvement in bullying may be elevated in schools that do not have a transition to middle school. They also bring into question the conventional view of the small K-8 or K-12 rural school as a peaceful and supportive peer community. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Bullying
Index Term(s): Adolescent victims; Assessment (juvenile); Crime in schools; Peer influences on behavior; Rural area studies
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