Year of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

College of Education and Human Sciences

Committee Chair

Greg Machek

Commitee Members

Rachel Severson, John Sommers-Flanagan, Chris Fiore, Jacqueline Brown

Keywords

bullying, interpersonal peer violence, participant roles, school climate

Publisher

University of Montana

Abstract

Positive school climate has been linked to lower levels of school violence and interpersonal conflict. Interventions that impact school climate have been shown to powerfully impact school violence and bullying prevalence. The current study used data collected from three middle schools in the same Rocky Mountain town. The survey tool contained items asking students about their behaviors when confronted with interpersonal conflict such as bullying, their attitudes towards interpersonal conflict, and their perceptions of their school’s climate. Significant differences were found between genders on attitudes towards interpersonal peer violence but no differences were found in the distribution of genders across participant roles. In addition, significant differences were found between bullying participant roles on both attitudes towards interpersonal peer violence and in perceptions of school climate. Finally, a moderated regression revealed a significantly stronger relationship between attitudes towards interpersonal peer violence and school climate in the defender group compared to other participant roles. This study contributes to the knowledge base surrounding school climate and will assist those who design school climate interventions in developing a more nuanced approach for reducing bullying and challenging students’ attitudes about the acceptability of interpersonal peer violence.

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© Copyright 2019 Miriam Rose Baker Reynolds