Overlapping Verbal, Relational, Physical, and Electronic Forms of Bullying in Adolescence: Influence of School Context

Catherine P. Bradshaw, Tracy Evian Waasdorp, Sarah Lindstrom Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Interest in youths' experience of the various forms of bullying has grown due to the numerous social-emotional correlates associated with bullying. Only recently has there been consideration of the school context in light of these associations. The current study examined the overlap in four different forms of bullying that youth commonly experience (i.e., verbal, relational, physical, electronic), with the aim of understanding their association with social-emotional correlates (i.e., internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, retaliatory attitudes) and exploring associations with school contextual factors such as supervision, school physical disorder, and behavioral expectations. Self-report data on the forms of peer bullying were collected from 24,620 adolescents (Grades 9–12; M age = 15.98, SD age = 1.32) enrolled in 52 high schools. Latent class analyses indicated significant overlap in the different forms of bullying victimization, with youth experiencing multiple forms of bullying reporting the greatest risk for social-emotional problems. A series of two-level hierarchical linear models revealed that indicators of school physical disorder and a lack of positive behavioral expectations were associated with increased risk for multiple forms of bullying. Several gender and age differences were also observed in relation to the patterns of bullying experienced. These findings extend prior research by emphasizing a potential link between the overlap in different forms of bullying and school contextual factors, even after controlling for individual-level risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-508
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Overlapping Verbal, Relational, Physical, and Electronic Forms of Bullying in Adolescence: Influence of School Context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this