Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Bullying in Early Childhood

Grant Winners

  • Nurit Sheinberg, Ed.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Thomas Kennedy, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • Lorraine Beffni, Ed.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • Meline Kevorkian, Ed.D. – Office of Academic Affairs
  • Siddika Mulchan, M.A. – Center for Psychological Studies

Deans

  • Roni Leiderman, Ph.D. – Mailman Segal Center for Human Development
  • H. Wells Singleton, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education

Abstract

Award Winners

Bullying is regarded as a serious problem that affects many children and is associated with significant psychosocial and academic adjustment difficulties for both the victims and perpetrators (Salmivalli, 2010). Past research has found evidence demonstrating that preschoolers can engage in a range of bullying behaviors; however, the information we have in this this age group is limited in both scope and depth (Vlachou et al., 2011). Early identification and elimination of social difficulties and bullying behaviors within the preschool period can prevent escalation in later years and reduce their negative impact on children's future social, emotional, and academic development (Vlachou et al., 2011). Preschool teachers play a crucial role in this process; however, there is a lack of research in terms of preschool teachers' knowledge, attitudes and practices related to bullying behaviors. This information is critical in order to develop effective prevention programs. The goal of this study is to address some of these limitations by exploring preschool teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding bullying behaviors in early childhood programs. Three hundred early education staff, including administrators, teachers, and teacher's aids, working with children aged two to five years in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County will participate in the study. Participants will be asked to complete an anonymous survey that will include questions and vignettes addressing their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding bullying behavior in preschool classrooms. Descriptive statistics will be used to analyze their responses to those questions. In addition, Pearson product-moment correlation and regression coefficients will be estimated to examine the relationship between the question variables and demographic and socio-cultural factors at teacher and school level. Statistical analyses will be performed using SPSS statistics. Statistically significant analyses will be deemed significant if the probability of a Type II error is p < .05.