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Individual Moral Disengagement and Bullying Among Swedish Fifth Graders: The Role of Collective Moral Disengagement and Pro-Bullying Behavior Within Classrooms
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9233-3862
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, The Division of Statistics and Machine Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Univ Padua, Italy.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, ISSN 0886-2605, E-ISSN 1552-6518, article id UNSP 0886260519860889Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

School bullying is a complex social and relational phenomenon with severe consequences for those involved. Most children view bullying as wrong and recognize its harmful consequences; nevertheless, it continues to be a persistent problem within schools. Previous research has shown that childrens engagement in bullying perpetration can be influenced by multiple factors (e.g., different forms of cognitive distortions) and at different ecological levels (e.g., child, peer-group, school, and society). However, the complexity of school bullying warrants further investigation of the interplay between factors, at different levels. Grounded in social cognitive theory, which focuses on both cognitive factors and social processes, this study examined whether childrens bullying perpetration was associated with moral disengagement at the child level and with collective moral disengagement and prevalence of pro-bullying behavior at the classroom level. Cross-level interactions were also tested to examine the effects of classroom-level variables on the association between childrens tendency to morally disengage and bullying perpetration. The studys analyses were based on cross-sectional self-report questionnaire data from 1,577 Swedish fifth-grade children from 105 classrooms (53.5% girls; M-age = 11.3, SD = 0.3). Multilevel modeling techniques were used to analyze the data. The results showed that bullying perpetration was positively associated with moral disengagement at the child level and with collective moral disengagement and pro-bullying behavior at the classroom level. Furthermore, the effect of individual moral disengagement on bullying was stronger for children in classrooms with higher levels of pro-bullying behaviors. These findings further support the argument that both moral processes and behaviors within classrooms, such as collective moral disengagement and pro-bullying behavior, need to be addressed in schools preventive work against bullying.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC , 2019. article id UNSP 0886260519860889
Keywords [en]
school bullying; late childhood; moral disengagement; collective moral disengagement; pro-bullying behavior
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159583DOI: 10.1177/0886260519860889ISI: 000478199800001PubMedID: 31282237OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159583DiVA, id: diva2:1342211
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [D0775301]

Available from: 2019-08-13 Created: 2019-08-13 Last updated: 2019-08-13

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Bjärehed, MarleneThornberg, RobertWänström, Linda
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