Longitudinal Associations Among Bullying, Homophobic Teasing, and Sexual Violence Perpetration Among Middle School Students

Dorothy L. Espelage, Kathleen C. Basile, Lisa De La Rue, Merle E. Hamburger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bullying perpetration and sexual harassment perpetration among adolescents are major public health issues. However, few studies have addressed the empirical link between being a perpetrator of bullying and subsequent sexual harassment perpetration among early adolescents in the literature. Homophobic teasing has been shown to be common among middle school youth and was tested as a moderator of the link between bullying and sexual harassment perpetration in this 2-year longitudinal study. More specifically, the present study tests the Bully–Sexual Violence Pathway theory, which posits that adolescent bullies who also participate in homophobic name-calling toward peers are more likely to perpetrate sexual harassment over time. Findings from logistical regression analyses (n = 979, 5th-7th graders) reveal an association between bullying in early middle school and sexual harassment in later middle school, and results support the Bully–Sexual Violence Pathway model, with homophobic teasing as a moderator, for boys only. Results suggest that to prevent bully perpetration and its later association with sexual harassment perpetration, prevention programs should address the use of homophobic epithets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2541-2561
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Volume30
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • bullying
  • sexual harassment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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