Educational Achievement and Bullying: The Mediating Role of Psychological Difficulties

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Title: Educational Achievement and Bullying: The Mediating Role of Psychological Difficulties
Authors: Murphy, DaraineLeonard, SophiaTaylor, Laura K.Santos, Flavia
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Date: 21-May-2022
Online since: 2022-07-12T11:34:44Z
Abstract: Background: Bullying has a profound and enduring impact on academic achievement. However, there is a lack of clarity surrounding the specific mechanisms of this relationship. Aims: This study examined the link between bullying at age 9 and Numeracy/Literacy achievement at age 15 to determine if this relationship is partially or fully explained by psychological difficulties at age 13. Sample: Secondary data analysis was completed on waves 1, 2 and 3 of child cohort (Cohort’98) of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study, respectively, at 9 years (N = 8568), 13 years (N = 7527) and 15 years of age (N = 6216). Results: Longitudinal path mediation model was conducted with bullying at age 9 as the predictor, total (emotional and behavioural) difficulties at age 13 as the mediator and Numeracy/Literacy scores at age 15 as outcomes revealing significant indirect effects of bullying on achievement, via psychological difficulties. Conclusions: We discuss the impact of bullying on the student's psychological well-being, the relationship between bullying and academic attainment and how this may be tackled to avoid consequences throughout education and later in life. Educational Impact and Implications: This study emphasizes the need for schools to address the emotional and behavioural difficulties occurring as a result of bullying in order to improve the overall educational experience of a child. Existing interventions can be built upon by focusing on the continuous remediation of such psychological difficulties.
Funding Details: University College Dublin
Funding Details: Open Access Funding provided by University College Dublin within the IREL Agreement
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: British Journal of Educational Psychology
Start page: 1
End page: 15
Copyright (published version): 2022 The Authors
Keywords: BullyingGrowing up in IrelandLiteracyMediation analysisNumeracy
DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12511
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0007-0998
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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