Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Predicting Teachers' Awareness of and Interventions in Classroom Episodes of Gender-based Bullying: Individual and Systems Factors
by Slater, Evan D., Psy.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2011, 185; 3466758
Abstract (Summary)

Gender-based bullying (GBB) includes threatening behaviors based on gender/gender-role expectations, verbal/physical harassment, unwanted sexual attention and coercion, insults, intimidation, and assaults based on sexual orientation. In this study, 342 teachers completed an online survey to identify which variables predicted their rates of witnessing and intervening in GBB. Individual variables included teacher rates of homophobia and heterosexism. Systems variables included teachers' fear of angry backlash for reporting GBB, the comprehensiveness of districts' safe school policies (SSP), the timeliness of districts' responses to reports of GBB, and the consistency of administrative responses. Also included were the number of district trainings concerning their local SSPs, effective classroom management, LGBT sensitivity, in addition to the frequency of training opportunities in teacher graduate programs addressing these issues.

One systems factor, teachers' fear of angry backlash for reporting GBB, predicted teachers' rates of intervention in and witnessing GBB in their classrooms. Descriptive data indicated that most teachers did not report an episode of GBB to their administration at any point in their teaching careers; the few who did report an act of GBB were both more aware of its existence and reported higher rates of intervention, compared to teachers who had never made a report.

School districts should attempt to increase the perceived seriousness of GBB by fostering a school climate where teaching staff are comfortable reporting GBB. Given the limited number of training opportunities reported by teachers, in either LGBT sensitivity or classroom management, districts and training programs should attempt to increase teachers' comfort with both intervention in bullying and LGBT affirming practices. Future research should address the factors that promote teachers' awareness of and interventions in GBB. The effects of proposed policy changes should be studied quantitatively; including, for example, the provision of specific protections for all students from GBB; and the consistent documentation of these episodes when they do occur. Research should continue to address whether or not schools that make such policy changes provide measurable quality of life and school climate improvements for all students, as well as the factors that increase the likelihood of achieving a school environment free of GBB.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nickerson, Amanda B.
Commitee: Crede, Marcus, Williams, Stacy A.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Education Policy, GLBT Studies, Educational psychology
Keywords: Bullying, Gender-based bullying, Intervene, LGBT, Prevention, Teacher, Witness
Publication Number: 3466758
ISBN: 978-1-124-80450-7
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