Race, Gender, and Bullying Behavior: The Role of Perceived Stereotypes

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Title: Race, Gender, and Bullying Behavior: The Role of Perceived Stereotypes
Author: Farrar, Brandy Deneen
Advisors: Maxine Thompson, Committee Chair
Michael Schwalbe, Committee Member
Feinian Chen, Committee Member
Abstract: In recent years, bullying among middle-school youth and adolescents has become a serious problem in American schools (Nansel et al. 2001). Researchers from a variety of different disciplines attempt to identify factors associated with bullying in order to develop effective intervention programs. However, many findings in relation to race, gender, and bullying are largely inconclusive. The present study employs a social constructionist framework to understand race and gender differences in adolescent bullying. Specifically, I explore how the meanings associated with race and gender in the form of popular stereotypes influence bullying behavior. The findings reported here are from the Gender and Middle School study conducted among 535 adolescents attending middle school in the southeast. The results of the analyses show significant relationships between race, gender, and bullying. Black students (compared to white and other minority) and male students (compared to female) reported higher frequencies of bullying. Further, perceiving that others stereotype you increases the frequency of participating in bullying behavior and explains the relationship between race and bullying. Lastly, the stereotype influence is greater for black males in the study than the effect for white males. These findings have implications for education officials as well as theory on the influence of stereotypes on adolescent behavior.
Date: 2006-08-18
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1125

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