Bullying and Minorities in Secondary School Students in Thrace-Greece

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Abstract

The aim of the present study is to examine probable heterogeneity in aggressive behaviors and peer victimization among ethnically diverse secondary schools in Thrace. It is a culturally diverse region in Northeastern Greece, which includes Greek Christians and a significant minority of Muslims and immigrants. The study population consisted of 572 school students (293 girls, 279 boys, Mage = 14.24), who completed the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire for Students-Senior and the Youth Self-Report. The percentage of students involved in bullying was 34.7%. More specifically, we found that 24.7% of the students were bully victims, followed by 18.5% bully/victims, and 17.8% bullies. Peer victimization was 52% less frequent in schools with low proportion of minority students (low school minority density; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.48, p = .015) and 61% less frequent in schools with high minority density (AOR = 0.39, p = .010) as compared to schools with moderate minority density. Furthermore, bullying and bully/victims behaviors were at least 65% less frequent in schools with high density (bullying: AOR = 0.35, p = .016; bully/victim: AOR = 0.30, p = .027) as compared to schools with moderate density, while a similar tendency was also observed in low density areas. Findings from the current study have implications for research and practice. More specifically, our findings can contribute to the development of effective prevention policies and strategies.

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