A Review of Research on School Bullying Among African American Youth: An Ecological Systems Analysis

Desmond Upton Patton, Jun Sung Hong, Abigail B. Williams, Paula Allen-Meares

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


School bullying and peer victimization are social problems that affect African American youth across various environmental contexts. Regrettably, many of the empirical research on bullying and peer victimization among African American youth has examined individual and direct level influences in silos rather than a constellation of factors occurring in multiple settings, such as home, school, and neighborhood. As a holistic model, the social-ecological framework provides a context with which to situate and interpret findings and draw implications from a broader psychosocial framework, which can be applicable across various systems. We utilize Bronfenbrenner's (American Psychologist 32:513-531, 1977) social-ecological framework as a springboard for investigating the accumulation of risk contributors and the presences of protective factors in relation to school bullying and peer victimization of African American youth. More specifically, we examine the risk and protective factors occurring in the micro- (i.e., parents, peers, school, and community), exo- (i.e., parental stress), and macrosystem levels (i.e., hypermasculinity, and gender role beliefs and stereotypes). We then discuss implications for research and school-based practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • African Americans
  • Bullying
  • Peer victimization
  • School
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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