Joan Buchar

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Richard W. Wilson (Director); Dr. J. David Dunn; Dr. Lisa L. Lindley

Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Public Health


A COMPARISON OF PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENTS, PARENTS AND SCHOOL PERSONNEL REGARDING BULLYING BEHAVIOR Joan Buchar July 2, 2004 52 Pages Directed by: Richard W. Wilson, J. David Dunn, Lisa L. Lindley Department of Public Health Western Kentucky University Bullying in America's schools is a problem that is, at best, a nuisance and at worst, the suspected cause of school shootings. Bullying is a persistent, physical or psychological abuse of power. It takes many forms from physical assault and name calling to shunning, ridicule or exclusion. The victims are usually powerless to change conditions and often bullying is ignored or dismissed as a "rite of passage". However, serious lifelong results can be experienced by bullies and victims. Victims can suffer from depression and suicidal tendencies; bullies can be at risk for commission of criminal offenses. In order to prevent, reduce or stop bullying in a school, school personnel need to collaborate with families and students to understand the problem and find a solution to it. In this study, students, parents and school personnel were surveyed regarding the perceptions of whether and what types of bullying behaviors occurred at a small, predominately low-income, public elementary school in western Kentucky during the 2002-2003 school year. Responses were also elicited regarding attitudes toward bullying, bullies and victims. The surveys were administered to third, fourth and fifth grade students. Parent and school surveys were returned voluntarily and all responses were anonymous. A chi square test for homogeneity of populations was administered and results reported. Students and teachers reported more bullying occurrences than did the parents. Additionally, school officials believed they did better job handling bullying events than did the parents or students. Finally, students' attitudes toward bullies, bullying and victims differed significantly from both the school officials and the parents.


Education | Public Health