Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Joseph Stetar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Kuchar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Ronzitti, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lauren Schoen, Ed.D.

Keywords

School administrator, Bullying victim, Perpetrator of bullying, Bullying, Peer victimization, Elementary school student, Parental involvement, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, School climate

Abstract

It is common for school administrators to be unaware of school bullying that has occurred because students typically conceal it. Yet recent legislation has made schools responsible for eliminating bullying. Research indicates that students who choose to reveal victimization are more likely to tell a trusted parent than school personnel.Consequently, the information gained through parental reporting is essential to the school’s ability to help students and conduct interventions and prevention efforts in general. Examining the relationship between parental perceptions of the school climate and their inclination to report student victimization offers valuable information that can aide schools in combating bullying.

The current study was based on the following overriding research question: What relationship, if any, exists between suburban elementary school parents’ perceptions of the school’s climate and their inclination to report a bullying incident to a school administrator? The three underlying research questions were as follows: 1) What relationship, if any, exists between suburban elementary school parents’ perceptions of the degree to which parents are incorporated into school life and their inclination to report a bullying incident to a school administrator? 2) What relationship, if any, exists between suburban elementary school parents’ perceptions of the school’s academic climate, including their satisfaction with the overall instructional quality, and their inclination to report a bullying incident to a school administrator? 3) What relationship, if any, exists between suburban elementary school parents’ perceptions of the degree to which the school’s communications and administrative efforts are open, honest, sincere, and fair and their inclination to report a bullying incident to a school administrator? This quantitative study employed primary data consisting of New Jersey School Climate Parent Survey results and responses to four bullying questions and six demographic questions. The parents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade served as the participants. The results were statistically significant but moderately weak for the first research question and statistically significant but weak for the third.

Given the important goal of assisting victimized youth and ameliorating bullying, it is essential for even moderately weak and weak results to lead to action. Therefore, resources should be allocated toward improving school climate because of its link with increasing parental willingness to reveal their child’s victimization. Through increased collaboration, parents and administrators can better understand victimization in their schools and be more capable of intervening effectively.

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