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A Multilevel, Statewide Investigation of School District Anti-Bullying Policy Quality and Student Bullying Involvement

A Multilevel, Statewide Investigation of School District Anti-Bullying Policy Quality and Student Bullying Involvement

Journal of School Health 87(3): 174-181

Although nearly all states in the United States require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, little research examines the effect of these policies on student bullying and health. Using a statewide sample, we investigated associations between the quality of school district anti-bullying policies and student bullying involvement and adjustment. School district anti-bullying policies (N = 208) were coded for their quality based on established criteria. District-level data were combined with student reports of bullying involvement, emotional distress, and school connectedness from a state surveillance survey of 6th, 9th, and 12th grade students (N = 93,437). Results indicated that policy quality was positively related to bullying victimization. Furthermore, students reporting frequent perpetration/victimization who also attended districts with high-quality policies reported more emotional distress and less school connectedness compared with students attending districts with low quality policies. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of these associations was small. Having a high-quality school district anti-bullying policy is not sufficient to reduce bullying and protect bullying-involved young people. Future studies examining policy implementation will inform best practices in bullying prevention.

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Accession: 059350524

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 28147459

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12480

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