Date of Conferral
Bullying has become a widespread social issue. Previous research has focused on both genders and various grade levels; it has shown that programs reduce bullying and improve social climates and attitudes toward academics. The effect of these programs, specifically on female youth, has not been studied. This study addressed the effect of bullying prevention programs on perceptions of bullying among female youth in Grades 5-7 in 2 schools in rural eastern Pennsylvania. One school utilized a prevention program while the other did not. Teachers and administrators were also interviewed to gain insight regarding their perceived effectiveness of the program. The main research question examined if prevention programs resulted in reductions in the perceptions of peer bullying among female youth in Grades 5-7. Telephone interviews with 30 students were conducted to assess if bullying programs alter perceptions of bullying. The theoretical bases of social learning theory and general aggression model were used to determine if programs altered perceptions of bullying. Bullying perceptions of participants from both schools were compared. An ethnographic design was employed, using partial grounded theory as the primary methods of research. Data were reviewed and codes were determined based upon the frequency of responses to interview questions. Results showed that bullying was prevalent in both schools; however, the prevention program did not alter perceptions of bullying, indicating problems with program implementation. The current research provides insights for school administrators regarding changes needed in program implementation to improve students' perceptions and possibly reduce bullying among this population.