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13-07-2020 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 11/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2020

Classroom Status Hierarchy Moderates the Association between Social Dominance Goals and Bullying Behavior in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 11/2020
Auteurs:
Bin Pan, Liang Zhang, Linqin Ji, Claire F. Garandeau, Christina Salmivalli, Wenxin Zhang
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Abstract

Social dominance goals represent desires to be powerful and prominent among peers. Previous studies have documented that endorsing social dominance goals is positively associated with bullying behavior. However, little is known about how classroom context moderates the social dominance goals–bullying association. The present study examined the role of classroom status hierarchy in the longitudinal association between social dominance goals and bullying in a sample of 1,603 children attending 17 grade 3 classrooms (n = 558, 46.2% girls, Mage = 9.33 years, SD = 0.44), 15 grade 4 classrooms (n = 491, 45.0% girls, Mage = 10.31 years, SD = 0.38) and 16 grade 7 classrooms (n = 554, 49.3% girls, Mage = 13.2 years, SD = 0.46) in China, followed for 1 year. Classroom peer status hierarchy was assessed by the within-classroom standard deviation in perceived popularity. Social dominance goals were obtained through self-reports. Bullying was measured via peer nomination. The multilevel models revealed that social dominance goals at Wave 1 predicted increases in bullying at Wave 2 only in classrooms with higher status hierarchies, after controlling for gender, grade, classroom size, and classroom gender distribution. These findings indicate that children who strive for social dominance goals are more likely to bully others when power is less equally distributed in the classroom.

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