School Bullying and Disability in Hispanic Youth: Are Special Education Students at Greater Risk of Victimization by School Bullies than Non-Special Education Students?
Abstract (Summary)There has been a tremendous increase in the study of school bullying over the past 20 years, where research findings have shown that bullying occurs in school settings regardless of particular country or culture. The vast majority of this research has addressed the behavior of the aggressor (i.e., the bully), whereas relatively few studies have focused on children who are the targets of peer aggression (i.e., the victim). Research findings specific to victims of bullying have shown certain characteristics that indicate increased risk of victimization, such as social isolation, insecurity, and physical weakness. Based on circumstances or manifestations associated with having a disability in a school setting, students with disabilities may have some of the characteristics identified as risk factors for victimization. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether Hispanic students who have disabilities report higher rates of victimization by bullies in comparison to their non-disabled peers, and whether having a particular disability, if any, resulted in more frequent victimization. Forty-three (43) students participated in the study and completed the Reynolds Bully Victimization Scale (BVS) and the Olweus’ Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ). The data from these measures were evaluated using Analysis of Variance, Multivariate Analysis of Variance, and Fisher’s Exact Test. The results showed that students identified as having a disability obtained significantly higher BVS scores for victimization, and their BVS T-scores reached clinical significance levels significantly more often than those of non-disabled students. 9 However, results from the OBVQ did not yield significant difference between students with and without disabilities. With respect to having different disabilities (specific learning disability, speech language impairment, & mild mental retardation), the results showed no significant differences in victimization rates for the BVS or the OBVQ. Similarly, no significant differences emerged for victimization across grade/school level. Further research is needed in this area, since the present study appears to be the first research in the United States that has attempted to compare bully victimization rates across students having various different disabilities. 10
School:The University of Arizona
School Location:USA - Arizona
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: