Emotion regulation, student engagement, and bullying roles
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Bullying is a group process, and students can be involved in bullying through several roles (e.g., bully, victim, defender, outsider, assistant). Many of these roles (e.g., victim, bully, bully-victim) are correlated with negative academic and social-emotional outcomes. Conversely, defending behavior has been positively correlated with good academic and social-emotional outcomes. Evidentially, students' involvement in bullying across the various roles may be differentially associated with their academic and emotional functioning. This study identified the latent bullying role profiles (combinations of behaviors across multiple bullying participant roles) in a sample of middle school students and explored the differences in student engagement and emotion regulation across the role profiles. Additionally, the current study examined the associations among five key bullying participant roles (bully, victim, defender, outsider, assistant) and student engagement and tested whether emotion regulation plays a mediating role in these associations. The role of gender was controlled in the associations among these variables. Three latent classes describing bullying role behavior were identified: Uninvolved students, Victim-Defenders, and Universally Involved students. Differences in emotion regulation difficulties and student engagement were found across groups. Difficulties in emotion regulation mediated the associations between student engagement and bullying, victimization, and outsider behavior, respectively.