Year 1 vs. Year 2 Summary School Safety Survey

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Bullying in High School v. 2
Comparing Year 1 & Year 2
Longitudinal Survey
How often?
Students told us whether an incident happened once, rarely, sometimes, almost all of the time, or always
We asked high school students...
55.5% female, 63.8% African-American & 32.4% Caucasian, 60% Freshmen & Sophomores, 55.2% 15-16 years old.
How many?
Students told us more about the most serious incident, including how many peers harassed them. Multiple aggressors became more common.
Whether they had experienced any socially rejecting behavior - in the form of physical (P), verbal (V), social (S), or cyber (C) bullying - in the past 6 months.  447 students in Year 1 and 578 students in Year 2 reported the following % had experiencing at least one incident. Rates remained relatively stable.
51.0% female, 55.8% African-American & 28.7% Caucasian, 51.6% Freshmen & Sophomores, 54.9% 15-16 years old.
Figure 2: Rates of Bullying
Students were also asked whether they perceived they were targeted by someone they considered a member or members of their friend group, whether they were targeted by a member or members of a social group, or whether they were targeted because of their membership in a group.
In Year 2, rates of being targeted by a friend or group were largely stable across bullying types, whereas feeling targeted because of group affiliation was lower for social and verbal aggression (49 & 52% respectively) than physical (61%) or cyber (65%) aggression.  Also, in Year 2 we saw a spike in how much individuals felt their aggressor(s) actions represented their group affiliation. The vast majority see the aggressor's group identity as a playing a role.
We asked students more about the groups involved in bullying them.  Based on student labels of the social cliques that existed in their school, the following graphs illustrate the primary perpetrator groups.  This year added the group classifiers of "average" (kids neither popular nor unpopular), "well-known" (but explicitly "not popular"), "country" (e.g. "county kids"), and teachers.  These combined with the groups previously identified as the loners (e.g., lone wolves, outcasts, those with no group affiliations), music kids (those in theater, choir, band), nerds (& honors students), popular (& rich or "snobs"), athletes, and poor kids (e.g., labeled by students as "ghetto," "trash," or "broke").
Physical Aggressors
Verbal Aggressors
This research was funded by the National Institute of Justice School Safety Initiative and conducted by the Social Relations Collaborative at Mississippi State University.  If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or visit our website at
Social Aggressors
Cyber Aggressors
Social Identities
This year we also asked whether political or religious group identities played a role in whether they were targeted.  (The county in which the study was conducted in largely Christian but split politically.)