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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Sharon L. Elliott

Abstract

This study examined attitudes and perceptions of high school principals/assistant principals with regard to bullying in their schools. Bullying is a pervasive, unacceptable form of aggression that has negative consequences, both for the bully and the victim. School principals are charged with the responsibility of creating a safe environment for students, by effectively combating any aggressive behavior that could harm a student. The extent to which principals are able to combat bullying, may depend largely on their attitudes and perceptions of bullying behavior in their schools. This purpose of the study was to compare the attitudes of high school principals with regard to bullying in their schools, and the effectiveness of intervention policies for bullying among students.

A survey was used to measure six subscales associated with bullying. A total of 270 surveys were distributed to high school principals/assistant principals throughout Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Forty-four participants completed the survey, for a response rate of 16.3%. Pearson product moment correlations were used to determine the strength and direction of the relationship between the five subscales that measured bullying, and types of policies related to bullying. The results of the study indicated that the principals’ perceptions of the effectiveness of school policies on bullying was not correlated with the six subscales used to measure perceptions of bullying. Also, a lack in variability of responses with regard to geographic location rendered it impossible to conduct an analysis of perceptions based on geographic location. The mean scores on the six subscales that measured perceptions of bullying did not differ between principals and assistant principals who worked in large or small schools. There was no statistical significance of how principals in large or small schools perceive bullying. Additional research is needed to determine how principals/assistant principals can manage bullying behaviors in their schools.

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