Date of Award
Administrative and Instructional Leadership
This study examined the frequency and possible connection between student self-reported bullying victimization, suicidal ideation, and reported fear of attending school. These school and societal problems have potential negative impacts on individuals, families, and school learning communities. Their negative effects may be compounded when occurring together. Previous research has connected bullying behavior to student absenteeism to suicidal ideation. These connections were further explored in this study using the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which is overseen by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The purpose of this survey is to focus on illness, death, and disability among adolescents, and what may be contributing factors to these unfortunate outcomes. New within this research was the exploration of whether students who report victimization from bullying and are seriously consider attempting suicide are more or less likely to not attend school due to fear. In all, a nationally representative sample of 13,677 students’ survey results were analyzed in this study. The first research question examined the relationship between the independent variables of missing school due to fear, cyber-bullying alone, traditional bullying alone, and both forms of bullying at school with the dependent variable reported thoughts of suicide. Students reporting school bullying alone were 2.2 times more likely to report suicidal ideation than students reporting no bullying. Students experiencing cyberbullying alone were 1.6 times more likely to report suicidal ideation than students reporting no bullying. Both forms of bullying for students led to a 3.7 times greater likelihood to also report suicidal ideation. In terms of days absent from school due to fear, those students were 1.5 times more likely to consider suicide. The second research question analyzed the relationship between the independent variables traditional bullying alone, cyberbullying alone, both forms of bullying at school, and considered suicide with the dependent variable of being absent due to fear of attending school. The addition of bullying in school alone to the prediction of days absent led to a statistically significant increase. With the addition of cyber bullying alone to in school bullying to the prediction of days absent, this did not lead to a statistically significant increase. When both forms of bullying (in school and online) were added, this did lead to a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of missing school due to fear. Finally, layering in considered suicide also increased the prediction of days absent from school with statistical significance. Suicidal attempts, under the umbrella of self-injurious behavior, are a behavior. And just like any observable behavior, there can be one and/or multiple functions (e.g., escape, attention seeking, etc.). The fields of suicide prevention, anti-bullying campaigns, and student absenteeism mitigation are complex; however, this research hopefully sheds a small, yet potentially significant light on all such prevention efforts by school and mental health professionals.
SPOSATO, THOMAS, "HOW TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING RELATE TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND SUICIDAL IDEATION" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 340.