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Parental Involvement Lessens Effects of Bullying on Middle Schoolers

middle school girl bullying 456Middle school students who feel their parents are more involved in their education have fewer mental health struggles — along with fewer suicidal thoughts and behaviors — in response to being bullied, according to a paper published this month in the journal School Psychology.

The research, conducted by the University of Maryland’s College of Education, also revealed a reverse effect: Middle schoolers who think their parents are less involved had more mental health problems and more suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Parental involvement seemed to be more of a “protective factor” for white students than students of color, for girls more than boys, and for 8th-graders more than for 6th- and 7th-graders. However, the research only applies to parental involvement’s effects on face-to-face bullying — not cyberbullying.

Middle school can be a tough transition for many students — classes become more challenging, homework loads increase and students are more accountable for their performance. But things can also get rough outside the classroom, with more insecurity, more demanding social pressures and, oftentimes, more — and more extreme — bullying among students. What all of these factors have in common is their effects on a student’s mental health.

The research also emerges at a time when schools are increasingly incorporating social-emotional learning (SEL) into their efforts to promote a healthy and positive school climate. And it serves as a reminder for school leaders that boosting parent engagement is also a way to support students’ SEL skills and that family-school connection continue to be important as students reach adolescence.

Excerpted from “Study: Parental involvement lessens effects of bullying on middle schoolers” in Education DIVE online. You may also read the UM College of Education’s release or view the study abstract.

Source: Education DIVE | Study: Parental involvement lessens effects of bullying on middle schoolers, https://www.educationdive.com/news/study-parental-involvement-lessens-effects-of-bullying-on-middle-schoolers/551447 | © 2019 Industry Dive

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