Examining the social context of bullying behaviors in early adolescence

Dorothy L. Espelage, Kris Bosworth, Thomas R. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

395 Scopus citations


Familial and adult influences, peer relations, and distal contextual factors were tested as correlates of a continuous measure of bullying behavior within a sample of 558 middle school students. Only 19.5% of the sample reported exhibiting no bullying behavior in the past 30 days. Parental physical discipline, time spent without adult supervision, negative peer influences, and neighborhood safety concerns were each positively associated with bullying behavior. In contrast, positive adult role models were associated with less bullying behavior. Results suggest that counselors should focus prevention and intervention efforts on the risk factors within the larger social context of an adolescent's life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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