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· Futurity reports on new research concluding that students who feel a greater sense of belonging among their family and school community are unlikely to involve themselves in bullying.
· What other factors contribute to causes of bullying? How are schools handling bullying?
Previous research has shown that, despite great efforts, one in three children continue to experience bullying in school. However, research has also indicated that environmental and psychological factors might play an important role in minimizing bullying behaviors.
The new findings suggest that parents and teachers should consider ways to create a supportive and accepting environment both at home and at school.
Researchers analyzed survey responses from more than 900 middle school students from rural schools throughout the US. The survey addressed their sense of belonging among peers, family, and school community as well as bullying behavior. For example, researchers asked participants if they upset others for the fun of it or if they spread rumors.
The results indicate that the more a student feels like they belong among their peers and family, the more likely they will feel like they belong at school. In addition, the more they feel like they belong within their school community, the less likely they were to report bullying behaviors.
This indicates that parents might be able to play a proactive role in increasing their child’s sense of belonging at school by focusing on improving a sense of belonging in the family.
Christopher Slaten, an associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Missouri, suggests that one of the ways parents can increase a child’s sense of family belonging is to organize activities that cater to every child’s interests.
Read the full article about bullying by Cailin Riley at Futurity.