Contribution of School and Family Factors to Racial Disparities in Bullying Involvement
Limited research attention has been devoted to disparate vulnerabilities to social-ecological risk factors and how these may explain group differences in bullying by race. To address this gap, the present study used data of early adolescent respondents (Mage = 11.2 years) from 36 public middle schools (N = 2701) to assess the nexus of race, social-ecological risk factors, and bullying perpetration. Multilevel modeling was employed to quantify the racial gap in bullying as well as the race-specific effects of social-ecological risk factors. Data revealed that Black students engaged in the highest levels of bullying perpetration, relative to all other racial/ethnic subgroups. School belonging exerted an amplified protective effect on Black and Hispanic youth, relative to White youth, and diminished the Black-White bullying perpetration gap. The link between exposure to family conflict and bullying perpetration was also race-specific. Findings yielded significant implications for bullying intervention and prevention.