"I Am Not Scared" Project
The relationship between perceived school climate and the
prevalence of bullying behavior in Greek schools: implications for
preventive inclusive strategies
Theodoros Giovazolias, Elias Kourkoutas, Effrosyni Mitsopoulou, Maria Georgiadi
Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Bullying, School climate, Risky behaviors, Counseling, Inclusive education
Policy Makers, Teachers, School Directors.
1 - 20 pages
The present study concerns the possible relationships between the perceived school climate and the prevalence of bullying behaviors in a sample of 369 primary school pupils, of which 183 (49,6%) were boys and 186 (50,4%) were girls, with an average age of 11,34 years. The students come from different schools in the Athens’s area, Greece. In addition, it aimed at examining the possible mediating role of engaging in risky behaviors in this relationship. The investigation method used was the distribution and completion of questionnaires. All participants completed the Peer Experiences Questionnaire – PEQ, the School Climate Scale and the Risky Behavior Scale. It was found that the group of bullies/victims had a negative attitude towards school climate compared to the bullies or victims. Moreover, the victimization of others seems to be positively related to risky behaviors, as bullies seem to get more involved in such behaviors compared to others. This point is in accordance with the researchers’ hypothesis and with previous studies, which have shown that risky behaviors, the victimization of others, the use of drugs, smoking, gun possession, suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts have all a common ground. All these indicate that the role of the school climate is very important in the phenomenon of victimization.
The results of this study point to the importance of intervening in the school level for reducing the phenomenon of bullying. Two initial steps are essential to secure the needed climate change. First, all of the stakeholders need to understand the dynamics of bullying and the impact it has on students. Second, a survey that would document the extent, nature, and location of bullying behavior in school needs to be undertaken. Then it needs to be changed the school climate and this can be achieved if the bullies realize that this kind of behaviour is no more acceptable.
First of all, the researchers make an introduction to the topic. This is very important because it helps the reader to understand the extent of this problem in all modern societies. Not to mention the fact that according to international research in 40 countries, Greece occupies the third place in the number of students being involved in incidents of victimization either as bullies, victims or as bullies/victims, so the researchers wanted to analyze why this happening. The present study aims to examine and evaluate the phenomenon of bullying, its relation to the school climate and the dangerous behaviors associated with it. The composition of Greek society has changed rapidly the last fifteen years. The majority of the classes in Greece have become multicultural and consequently this has changed the school climate.
The sample of the 369 primary school pupils is quite representative because it is taken from various areas of Athens, so it reflects the socio-economic differences among those areas. Upon the completion of three questionnaires (Peer Experiences Questionnaire – PEQ, the School Climate Scale and the Risky Behavior Scale), the researchers used detailed tools, in order to analyze the collected data. The results confirmed that the bullying phenomenon is existent in Greece and that it needs to be taken measures so as the problem to be confronted. The researchers mention that as bullying is a complex and multi-dynamic phenomenon, anti-bullying interventions should be holistic and system-oriented in order to be effective. Consequently, the proposals they make, involve all the stakeholders. To be more specific, they believe that the bulling phenomenon is a problem that affects various aspects of life and on the other hand, a problem that been affected from various aspects of life, thus the measures must be taken not only in the school level but in every environment that affects the school climate.
I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission