Date of Award

3-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Department

College of Education

Abstract

This mixed-methods case study examined the perceptions of students and school adults regarding bullying at one urban middle school (grades 6-8) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Participants completed a two-part survey. Part one contained open-ended questions regarding the respondent’s experiences at the school and part two used a questionnaire from Maunder, Harrop and Tattersall, (2010) containing a set of twelve scenarios with questions asking participants to indicate whether or not it is bullying, the frequency seen in the school, and the severity if it happened to a girl or a boy. This study showed that awareness of the school district’s anti-bullying policy is limited among both students and school adults. Student and adult descriptions of bullying behaviors and perceptions of frequency were consistent; however, their perceptions of the severity of bullying were not, with students choosing “less severe,” in greater percentages than the adults. Regarding the identification of specific scenarios as bullying, students and school adults had some different perceptions of the indirect bullying and ambiguous scenarios. This study confirms Maunder et al.’s finding of significant differences when taking into account the seriousness for gender, with bullying scenarios perceived as more serious when they happen to a girl. Recommendations for further study, practice, and for school counselors are included.

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