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  • Thumbnail for Socio-demographic characteristics predictive of bullying behavior and the significance of parental engagement
    Socio-demographic characteristics predictive of bullying behavior and the significance of parental engagement by Newcombe, Elizabeth Grant

    Bullying among school-aged children has received notoriety in the media as of late, especially following highly publicized incidents in which victims have killed themselves or others as a result of being bullied. The following study analyzed data from the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, a national survey of students, in order to determine the socio-demographic factors predictive of bullying behaviors. A dichotomous bully variable was derived from the data set and used in an initial logistic regression with a set of independent variables representing student race/ethnicity, gender, family SES, family structure, and parental engagement. Initial results demonstrated the significance of parental attachment above all other independent variables, in addition to gender and family SES. OLS regressions were then run in order to determine which independent variables affected parent engagement. Results indicated that both mothers and fathers, especially those from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds, were significantly less engaged with their children than their white counterparts, particularly racial/ethnic minority fathers being significantly less engaged with their daughters. These results point to a crisis of masculinity as well as greater structural inequality that prevents minority parents from being more engaged with their children.