Comparing In-Service Teachers and Pre-service Teachers' Attitudes about Bullying
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AbstractGiven the far-reaching negative impacts associated with bullying, researchers have extensively examined different prevention and intervention methods to help reduce this behaviour. Within the last decade, research has found that teachers can often act as a first line of defence for bullying. The current study extends the literature by examining the similarities and differences between in-service and pre-service teachers’ attitudes about bullying. Specifically, this study examined in-service and pre-service teachers’ perceived seriousness level, empathy level and likelihood to intervene for verbal, relational and physical bullying. Participants consisted of 158 teachers (in-service teachers: 56, pre-service teachers: 102). Results reveal that teachers hold different attitudes about verbal, relational and physical bullying and that perceived seriousness level and empathy level can predict teachers’ willingness to intervene in bullying. No overall differences were found between in-service and pre-service teachers’ attitudes about bullying. These results further demonstrate the importance of informing teachers about the negative consequences of bullying, specifically in regard to different forms of bullying, in hopes to increase teachers’ intervention and reduce the negative consequences of bullying.
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