Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Teachers Not Well Attuned to Student Bullying

This study examined the effects of teacher attunement to victimization on student perceptions of the bullying culture of their schools as a means of fostering a sense of belonging among early adolescents. Participants (n = 1,264) in sixth grade reported on the frequency that they had been bullied, and teachers were asked to report students who were “picked on.” Teacher attunement represented the correspondence between self-identified and teacher-identified victims.

Attunement at the beginning of the school year was related to positive changes in student reports that their peers would intervene in bullying; in turn, sense of belonging was greater when students perceived that their peers would intervene in bullying. Teacher attunement was indirectly related to greater belonging through its impact on student perceptions of the bullying context.

However, teachers were not well attuned to self-identified victims.  Attunement calculation resulted in a number ranging from 0 (no attunenment) to 1 (perfect attunement). In this study, schoolwide teacher attunement ranged from 0 to .36. The average level of attunement across all schools was .16.

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