What are we measuring? A content-analysis of measurements used in the study of the association between adolescent bullying and suicide Open Access

Wolfe, Misty Dawn (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/41687h60p?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract

Two studies have reviewed the literature regarding the association between bullying and suicidality (Kim & Leventhal, 2008; Klomek, Sourander, & Gould, 2010). Others have reviewed the methods and instruments that have been designed with the intent of measuring bullying phenomena (Crothers & Levinson, 2004), revealing the loss of accuracy that results from faulty measurement and analysis applications. Research has revealed the varying definitions of bullying, and a functional summary of constructs has been proposed (Greene, 2000). It has yet to be assessed, however, whether the bulk of the research being conducted regarding the association between bullying and suicidality reflects the most widely accepted definitions of bullying and the most appropriate instruments available. It is also unclear how comprehensive and measurable those constructs are.

The current study involved a systematic review of the published literature for primary research regarding the association between bullying and suicidality. The instruments or items from each of the studies selected for inclusion were assessed to quantify the number of bully instruments used and to determine how closely they reflect the current five bullying constructs summarized by Greene (2000). In order to examine potential barriers to effectively synthesizing findings in this area, a comparison of the instruments and items used in studies that the author(s) have framed as bullying versus those framed as other forms of violence was also performed.

Findings: Given the amount of overlap in measures of frequency and familial social groups between studies framed as bullying and those that were not, frequency may not be a factor that differentiates bullying from general peer aggression. The construct of a power differential does appear to be perceived by researchers as a differentiating factor, as it is not present in studies that are not framed as bullying. The intention of the bully occurred fairly frequently in both groups. Finally, a complete absence of the construct regarding a lack of victim provocation could indicate that this does not reflect the bullying dynamic or, more likely; it could simply be that it has yet to be included in instruments currently in use.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION...1
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW...3
CHAPTER 3: METHODS...22
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS...29
CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION...36
APPENDICES

APPENDIX A...47
APPENDIX B...51
APPENDIX C...56
APPENDIX D...59
APPENDIX E...60

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