Bullying among refugee, immigrant and native born children in elementary and middle schools: A socio-ecological model analysis
Lim, Seok Jeng Jane
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Systematic research into bullying has a short history of about 40 years. Investigations on school bullying within a multicultural context are especially limited. As schools in the 21st century grow more culturally diverse due to globalization and immigration, there is a need to look into bullying within this changing population. Specifically, the goals of this study were four fold. First, it explored the prevalence of bullying between refugee, immigrant, and native born children within 3rd and 6 th Grade heterogeneous classrooms. Second, it explored the impact of bullying based on the size of the refugee group and the immigrant and native born group. Third, it explored the impact of immigration status, age, and gender on the prevalence of bullying. Finally, through a social ecological model framework, this study examined the influence of the individual and teachers and their impact on bullying among refugee children. This study employed a mixed methodology consisting of the Swearer Bully Survey (quantitative) and interviews (qualitative). A purposeful sampling of 116 Grade 3 & 6 students, and 13 teachers from an inner city public school in Western New York participated. Quantitative results suggested no statistically significant difference in immigration status, group size and gender. However, there was a statistically significant difference in grade level. Grade 3 children were subjected to a higher prevalence of bullying when compared to Grade 6 children. Qualitative results provided a much needed insight into the prevalence of bullying among refugee children. Results suggested ethnic and immigrant bullying seemed more prevalent among Grade 6 than Grade 3 refugee children. A new image of victim emerged in the study. Refugee children respond as non passive victims in contrast to the passive victim adopted by immigrant and native born children.