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Does friendship play a moderating role between bullying and classroom concentration?

Quinn, Sally (2010) Does friendship play a moderating role between bullying and classroom concentration? York St John University.

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that being bullied can have negative consequences for the victim. Boulton et al. (2008) report that being bullied can affect classroom concentration and the aim of the present study was to expand on this by including cyberbullying which to date has not been examined at the primary school level. Research has also shown that friendships can provide some level of protection from possible negative outcomes related to bullying. The present study therefore also examined the moderating role of friendship between bullying and disrupted classroom concentration. Participants consisted of 130 children aged 9 to 11 years from 4 primary schools in North Yorkshire. Self reports of incidences of direct physical, direct verbal, indirect bullying and cyberbullying were collected via a questionnaire which also included questions relating to recent classroom concentration and questions about their relationship with their best or closest friend. The results showed that cyberbullying is a phenomenon found within this age group and not just in adolescence. It was also found that being bullied in more than one way predicted disrupted classroom concentration. This was also true for the chronicity of bullying. Overall, the quality of the friendship between the participant and their best or closest friend was found to moderate this association. Further analysis revealed that this was significant for boys but not for girls. Suggestions are made for practical applications of these findings as well as suggestions for future research.

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