Individual and Community Factors in Bullying and Victimization
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The goal of this thesis was to use an ecological framework to examine how individual and community characteristics interact and are related to bullying and victimization. Data were collected from over 20 000 students in Grades 6 to 10, living in 436 communities as part of the 2009/2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Survey, from Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data, and from 2006 Canadian Census data. First, we explored the individual and community factors that contributed to the power differential in bullying in electronic and traditional contexts. Bullying and victimization were primarily related to the characteristics of individuals that affected interpersonal power dynamics, but some community factors were also associated with decreased likelihood of victimization. Second, we examined how community ethnicity characteristics affected likelihood of racial bullying and victimization in different youth according to their individual ethnicity. Individuals in the ethnic minority in a community were more likely to be racially victimized than individuals of the same ethnicity in a community in which they were the majority. The findings from both studies help to shed light on power and group dynamics and the relative importance of individual and community characteristics in bullying involvement.