To tell or not to tell: What influences children's decisions to report bullying to their teachers?

Khaerannisa I. Cortes, Becky Ladd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Teachers are the primary agents for creating and maintaining a positive classroom climate-and promoting healthy interpersonal relations with, and among, their students (including the prevention of school bullying) is key to achieving this goal. For this study it was posited that students' willingness to report bullying to their teachers is an indicator of the degree to which teachers have successfully created such environments. Data were gathered on 278 (135 boys; 152 girls) ethnically diverse (46.4% Hispanic; 43.5% White; 10.2% Black and Other) 8-to-10-year-old students. Results showed that classrooms in which children reported greater willingness to report bullying evidenced lower levels of victimization. Moreover, believing that teachers would take an active role in intervening, such as by separating involved students or involving parents and principals, was associated with greater willingness to report than child-level characteristics, such as grade, personal blame, and individuals' propensity toward aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-348
Number of pages13
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Antibullying programs
  • Bullying
  • Classroom climate
  • Peer victimization
  • Social cognitions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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