Title

Inequality matters: Classroom status hierarchy and adolescents' bullying

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Springer Verlag

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Exercise and Health Sciences/Child Health Promotion Research Centre

RAS ID

19258

Comments

This article was originally published as: Garandeau C.F., Lee I.A., Salmivalli C. (2014). Inequality Matters: Classroom Status Hierarchy and Adolescents' Bullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(7), 1123-1133. Original article available here

Abstract

The natural emergence of status hierarchies in adolescent peer groups has long been assumed to help prevent future intragroup aggression. However, clear evidence of this beneficial influence is lacking. In fact, few studies have examined between-group differences in the degree of status hierarchy (defined as within-group variation in individual status) and how they are related to bullying, a widespread form of aggression in schools. Data from 11,296 eighth- and ninth-graders (mean age = 14.57, 50.6 % female) from 583 classes in 71 schools were used to determine the direction of the association between classroom degree of status hierarchy and bullying behaviors, and to investigate prospective relationships between these two variables over a 6-month period. Multilevel structural equation modeling analyses showed that higher levels of classroom status hierarchy were concurrently associated with higher levels of bullying at the end of the school year. Higher hierarchy in the middle of the school year predicted higher bullying later in the year. No evidence was found to indicate that initial bullying predicted future hierarchy. These findings highlight the importance of a shared balance of power in the classroom for the prevention of bullying among adolescents.

DOI

10.1007/s10964-013-0040-4

Access Rights

Not open access

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