Leemis, R. W., Espelage, D. L., Basile, K. C., Mercer Kollar, L. M., &…
Adolescents engage in bullying and sexual harassment perpetration both in-person and online. Yet, little is knownabout the overlap of traditional (in-person) and cyber bullying and sexual harassment perpetration. The present study assessed the co-occurrence of these forms of aggression in high school and identified middle school predictors based on participants’ perceptions of factors across the social ecology. Racially diverse middle and high school students (n = 3549) were surveyed over four time points from Spring 2008 to Spring 2013.
A latent class analysis was used to identify classes of individuals according to endorsement of traditional and cyber bullying and sexual harassment items in high school. Four classes were identified: (1) high all, consisting of traditional and cyber bullying and sexual harassment perpetration (n = 227); (2) traditional bullying perpetration (n = 604); (3) traditional and cyber bullying perpetration (n = 450); and (4) low all (n = 1,261). Students who reported high levels of anger, self-esteem, empathy, pornographic exposure, and traditional masculinity (individual level), lower levels of social support and parental monitoring (relational level), and higher levels of school belonging (community level) had increased odds of being in the high all class when compared to the other classes. Given the co-occurrence of traditional and cyber bullying and sexual harassment, prevention programming that addresses both forms of aggression across traditional and online contexts may be beneficial. This study also suggests the importance of comprehensive prevention efforts that incorporate approaches at the different ecological levels, such as teaching adolescents healthy emotional and interpersonal skills, and engaging parents in prevention.
Keywords: bullying, cyberbullying, protective factors, risk factors, sexual harassment