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1003PSY Research Methods and Statistics 1 Assignment

Due Date: 1:00pm Wednesday 12th October, 2016

[Insert title here]

[Insert name here]

[Insert student number here]

Word count: [Insert word count here]

Abstract

[Insert Abstract here. Approximately 150 words]

[Insert title here]

The significant social impact of schoolyard bullying was vividly illustrated in August 2009 when Jai Morcom died as a result of a playground brawl at Mullumbimby High School (New South Wales, Australia). News of the 15 year-olds death led to public outcry and a mass protest by students and staff at the school (Stolz, 2009). A poll conducted by the Queensland newspaper The Courier Mail showed that 92% of the 604 respondents responded Yes to the question of Do you think bullying is out of control in our schools? While this sample is likely to be biased, placing doubts over the extent to which this opinion is shared by the general population, it does suggest a perception of a high incidence of bullying in Australian schools. Additional research conducted by the Queensland Education Department indicates that approximately five children in each class are verbally or physically bullied each week and that up to 70% of suspensions relate to bullying behaviour. Research conducted in other countries support these findings in reporting that 5 to 15% of primary school and 3 to 10% of secondary school children being the victims of bullying on at least a weekly basis (Olweus, 1994; Genta, Menesini, Fonzi, Costabile, & Smith, 1996). The high prevalence of bullying in schools indicates that more information is needed on what variables are associated with bullying and what impact it has on children. 

Prior research on the victims of bullying has revealed that several variables are associated with bullying. Boys are more likely to be bullied than girls (e.g., Slee & Rigby, 1993; Nansel et al., 2001), particularly when bullying includes physical harm and threats (Baldry, 1998). Younger children are also more likely to report being the victim of bullying than older children (Whitney & Smith, 1993). Victims also tend to be more introverted, passive, submissive, and lonely (Boulton & Smith, 1994; Mynard & Joseph, 1997). In victims, the amount of bullying received is positively associated with levels of anxiety (e.g., Bond, Carlin, Thomas, Rubin, & Patton, 2001) and depression (e.g., Abada, Hou, & Ram, 2008; Craig, 1998), and negatively associated with self-worth (e.g., Slee & Rigby, 1993), popularity (Olweus, 1978), and physical health (Abada et al., 2008). The negative psychological variables that are associated with bullying indicate that victimisation is likely to lead to considerable stress (Newman, Holden, & Delville, 2005) and be a risk factor for subsequent mental health problems (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpelä, Rantanen, & Rimpelä, 2000).

Coggan, Bennett, Hooper, and Dickinson (2003) reported the findings of a large cross-sectional survey of 3,265 randomly selected secondary school students in New Zealand. The students were categorised as experiencing chronic bullying (physical violence, verbal teasing, sexual harassment, and racist comments) or not across a six month period. A comparison between the groups revealed significant differences on several psychological measures. Bullied children were less likely to feel good about themselves, had a lower self-esteem, more likely to have attempted self-harm and suicide, and more likely to have higher scores for depression, stress, and hopelessness. Coggan et al. argued that the findings indicated an association between chronic bullying and negative mental health outcomes in secondary school children. Further, the authors stressed that their findings highlight the need for positive youth development strategies in conjunction with prevention and intervention strategies to reduce bullying at school. 

The present study aimed to extend the findings of Coggan et al. (2003) in two main ways. First, we changed the sample of students that were studied. Students were sampled from primary schools in Queensland, Australia. Second, rather than treating bullying as a categorical variable (i.e., bullied versus not bullied), we treated it as a quantitative variable (i.e., frequency of bullying incidents). An analysis of the resulting data set will provide descriptive statistics on the extent of bullying in students and those psychological variables that might be associated with the extent of bullying. 

[Insert hypotheses here]

Method 

Participants

 [Insert a description of the sample used including statistical analyses that describe the sample in your data set in terms of their gender, grade, and age]

Sampling method.  The methods used to sample the students and to measure the variables were given approval by the Institutional Research Ethics Committee. The target population was deemed to be Queensland primary school children in grades 5, 6, and 7. The potential participants were those students that were randomly selected to receive a survey pack that contained the self-report measurement instruments. To obtain the list of potential participants, five state schools in Queensland were first randomly selected to participate in the study. Each school consisted of a preparatory year and grades 1 to 7. The number of enrolments at the schools varied from 423 to 845 students. The enrolment list for each school was next obtained and 30 students in grades 5, 6, and 7 were randomly selected. These students became the potential participants and were each given a survey pack to take home. The pack included an information sheet and consent form that the parent or guardian was required to complete as acknowledgement of informed consent. In addition, the pack included the questionnaires to obtain information regarding demographic characteristics, frequency of bullying, perceived stress, depression, and self-esteem. The students were asked to return the completed questionnaires within one week. Of the 150 survey packs handed out, 80% were returned thus giving an actual sample of 120 students. 

Design

 [Insert information here about the variables studied, general statistical approach used, data screening methods etc.]

Materials

Self-report measures were used to obtain demographic information and to measure each variable of bullying, perceived stress, depression, and self-esteem.

Demographic characteristics. Three questions were used to obtain information about gender (male, female), age (in whole years), and grade level (5, 6, or 7). 

Frequency of bullying. The amount of bullying experienced by a student was measured as the number of times the student reported being a victim of four possible behaviours. A question asked In school over the past week, how many times have you experienced each of the following? The four items were Another child was physically violent towards me, Another child teased me, Another child made racist comments to me, and Another child made sexually harassing comments to me. The number of times each incident occurred was summed across the four items to give a single measure of the frequency of bullying the child experienced over the past week. 

Perceived stress. The level of stress perceived by the student was measured with four items. These were It is hard for me to tell people I am angry, I feel stressed by expectations to do well or better at school, I feel ‘stressed out’, and Difficulties seem to pile up so high that I feel that I cannot overcome them. Ratings were made on a scale that ranged from 1 to 25, where higher ratings indicate higher agreement with the statements. The sum of the ratings for all four items (maximum score = 100) provided the measure of perceived stress.

Depression. The students’ depression was measured with the four items of I feel lonely, I feel that people dislike me, I feel depressed, and I feel that nobody truly cares about me. Students were asked to rate their level of agreement to each statement on a scale from 1 to 10, where higher ratings indicate higher agreement. The total score across the four items (maximum score = 40) provided the measure of depression.

Self-esteem. Four items were used to measure self-esteem. The items were I feel that I have a number of good qualities, I certainly feel useless at times, I wish I could have more respect for myself, and I take a positive attitude toward myself. Each item was rated on a four-point scale of 1 to 4, where higher ratings indicate greater agreement with the statement. The sum of ratings across the four items (maximum score = 16) was used as the measure of the students’ self-esteem.

Results

Descriptive Statistics

[Insert statistical analyses that describe the distributions for the variables of frequency of bullying, perceived stress, depression, and self-esteem]

Variables Associated with Bullying

[Insert statistical analysis that describe your analyses of the variables associated with bullying]

Discussion

[Insert Discussion here]

References

Abada, T., Hou, F., & Ram, B. (2008). The effects of harassment and victimization on self-rated health and mental health among Canadian adolescents. Social Science & Medicine, 557-567.

Baldry, A. C. (1998). Bullying among Italian middle school students. School Psychology International, 19, 361–374.

Bond, L., Carlin, J. B., Thomas, L., Rubin, K., & Patton, G. (2001). Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers. British Medical Journal, 323, 480–484. 

Boulton, M. J., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Bully/victim problems in middle-school children: Stability, selfperceived competence, peer perceptions and peer acceptance. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12, 315–329.

Coggan, C., Bennett, S., Hooper, R., & Dickinson, P. (2003). Association between bullying and mental health status in New Zealand adolescents. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 5, 16-22.

Craig, W. M. (1998). The relationship among bullying, victimization, depression, anxiety, and aggression in elementary school children. Personality and Individual Differences, 24, 123–130.

Genta, M. L., Menesini, E., Fonzi, A., Costabile, A. & Smith, P. K. (1996). Bullies and victims in schools in central and southern Italy. European Journal of Psychology of Education, XI, 97–110.

Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 213-218.

Janis, I. L., & Mann, L. (1977). Decision making. New York: Free Press.

Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpelä, M., Rantanen, P., & Rimpelä, A. (2000). Bullying at school – an indicator of adolescents at risk for mental disorders. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 661-674.

Mynard, H., & Joseph, S. (1997). Bully/victim problems and their association with Eysenck’s personality dimensions in 8 to 13 year-olds. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 51–54.

Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, W. J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094.

Newman, M. L., Holden, G. W., & Delville, Y. (2005). Isolation and the stress of being bullied. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 343-357.

Olweus, D. (1978). Aggression in the schools: bullies and whipping boys. New York: Wiley.

Olweus, D. (1994). Annotation: Bullying at school: Basic facts and effects of a school based intervention program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 35, 1171–1190.

Slee, P. T., & Rigby, K. (1993). Australian school children’s self appraisal of interpersonal relations: the bullying experience. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 23, 273–282.

Stolz, G. (2009). Mullumbimby High School walkout over bullying. The Courier Mail. Accessed 10/10/09 from: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26002921 -953,00.html

Whitney, L., & Smith, P. K. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. Educational Research, 35, 3–25.

Appendix

[Insert or attach your Raw SPSS Output. There is no need to format the output into APA format.] 

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