What do we know about social bullying in middle school students?

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About This Project

Social bullying can occur without conscious awareness and includes actions like excluding, spreading rumours about, or embarrassing someone. This research aims to identify trends in students who engage in social bullying, are victims of social bullying, and a combination of both. A short survey will be distributed to middle school students and analyzed to obtain information.

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What is the context of this research?

Bullying is a prevalent and widely researched topic in today's society. Social bullying is a more covert or "behind the scenes" form of bullying. However, social bullying is less commonly understood and not as extensively researched due to the current focus on issues like cyberbullying. Of the research that has been done, social bullying has been shown to lead to illness and psychological stress, as well as having negative impacts on school functioning, physical self-perception, and academic achievement. By providing research that raises awareness on how prevalent and harmful social bullying can be, schools and other institutions can implement interventions and educational resources to reduce the frequency and impact of these behaviours.

What is the significance of this project?

Millions of dollars are spent on funding anti-bullying campaigns every year. Therefore, it is important to ensure this funding is properly allocated towards the types of bullying that are most common and detrimental to students. By investigating the prevalence, awareness, and impact of social bullying in middle school students, the research will provide insight on how high of a priority social bullying should be when allocating anti-bullying resources. This research adds to the understanding of social bullying since it will look at the amount of students who unintentionally engage in social bullying, are victims of social bullying, and students who deliver and receive social bullying.

What are the goals of the project?

This study will explore student comprehension toward social bullying as a form of harm. A survey will be designed and distributed that asks questions about how social bullying impacts victims, how many students self-report as delivering and/or receiving forms of social bullying, and whether more funding should be allocated to social bullying. A survey was chosen as the research method since the research involves self-reporting and data can be collected by analyzing individual responses to set questions. The survey will be distributed to about 5 classes of 30 students across two schools for a total of around 300 respondents. The research will also look at variables such as home stability, sleep quality, personality, etc., that may cause trends and correlations in the data.

Budget

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Funds will be used to compensate teachers and schools for taking their time to complete the survey and be a part of the research.

The survey will be distributed to two middle schools in Toronto, Canada with about 150 respondents/school.

Teachers/school staff will be given $25 per class they distribute the survey to (ideally 5 classes of about 30 students per school).

Endorsed by

Bullying is a misunderstood area in education, but it's one of the most heavily invested for school districts and teacher training. This project is a great first step to help understand bullying more at the granular level in schools, from the students themselves. It's also led by a student who knows the social dynamics of today's school culture more than any PhD researcher, which is truly invaluable.

Flag iconProject Timeline

The survey will be created after the proposal is approved and the funding goal is almost reached. The survey will then be distributed around early December. Data analysis will occur in December and results will be produced in January.

Nov 17, 2018

Create survey

Nov 27, 2018

Project Launched

Dec 06, 2018

Distribute survey

Dec 13, 2018

Complete data collection

Dec 27, 2018

Complete data analysis

Meet the Team

Ella Serber
Ella Serber
Student

Affiliates

Joel Nicholson
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Ella Serber

Hi! My name is Ella Serber and I am currently a grade 12 student at Northern Secondary School. This research is important to me as I had many issues throughout my education with getting in trouble and not understanding why. I want to try and help other students avoid this by understanding what behaviours could be seen as bullying in order to reduce or prevent such behaviours.

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