Peer victimization in Dutch school classes of four- to five-year-olds: Contributing factors at the school level

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Abstract

This research was designed to examine how factors within young children's environment (e.g., school factors, neighborhood) contribute to explaining peer victimization. The sample comprised 2,003 children (between 4 and 5 years of age) from 98 classrooms in 23 elementary schools in the Netherlands. Teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire on exposure to victimization for each child. Multilevel analyses revealed that gender and social climate of the school were directly related to victimization. Furthermore, results indicated that peer victimization in boys was less prevalent when they attended smaller schools. In low-SES neighborhoods victimization scores were significantly lower when schools had implemented clear antibullying policies. Finally, variation among school classes appeared to be strongly associated with victimization, even more so than variation among schools. These findings support broadening the focus beyond the individual child at risk. © 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-177
Number of pages15
JournalThe Elementary School Journal
Volume110
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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