Parents and Teachers’ Perspectives on School Bullying Among Elementary School-Aged Asian and Latino Immigrant Children

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Abstract

Concerted efforts have been made to understand school bullying in the last decade; however, few studies have focused on Asian and Latino students. Recent research has proposed a social-ecological framework to study the influence of broader contexts—such as familial, school, and acculturation—on children’s bullying involvement (e.g., Hong & Espelage, 2012). The aim of this study was to qualitatively examine the perspectives of teachers and parents of elementary school-aged Asian and Latino immigrant children on school bullying. Five focus groups with a total of 23 participants (Asian parents = 9; Latino/a parents = 6; teachers = 8) were conducted at an elementary school in Southern California. Data were analyzed using the grounded theory methodology (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Four themes emerged from the data: (a) parents’ and teachers’ beliefs of what constitute school bullying and its contributing factors, (b) the pervasiveness and impact of school bullying, (c) parenting challenges in the acculturative context, and (d) parents and teachers’ utilization of intervention strategies. Although the findings suggest that parents and teachers possess a rather nuanced understanding of bullying and its detrimental impact, they also underscore the challenges faced by low-income immigrant families and the teachers in fostering home-school collaboration. Commonalities and differences in the experiences between Asian and Latino groups are highlighted, and suggestions for working with teachers and immigrant parents to prevent school bullying are discussed. Drawing from the study themes, a theoretical model that highlights the interrelationships of the themes is proposed for future research investigation.

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