Bullying is a pervasive and disruptive issue in the schools (Stockdale, Hanguduambo, Duys, Larson, & Sarvela, 2002). It has been shown to have serious negative consequences for students who are frequently targeted, including lower academic achievement, lower self-esteem, and more interpersonal problems in adulthood compared to their non-targeted peers (Eisenberg & Aalsma, 2005; Olweus & Limber, 1999; Rigby, 2003; Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005; Yoneyama & Rigby, 2006). However, when parents are engaged as active members of the school community, significant benefits accrue for children, educators, and parents. Such benefits include improved grades and test scores for students, greater job satisfaction among teachers, and decreased likelihood that children will be involved in bullying behaviors (Christenson, 1996; Spriggs, Iannotti, Nansel, & Haynie, 2007). Despite the important role parents play in their child's success in school, there is little research concerning parents' perceptions of bullying behaviors in schools. This research project surveyed parents in order to understand their perspectives regarding bullying prevalence, type, and intervention efforts taking place in schools. This was done through a survey administered at a statewide Parent Teacher Association Conference in Provo, Utah, in May 2008. Because attendees at the conference were assumed to be fairly involved in the local schools, the results of this study were expected to represent the perceptions of parents who are involved in the school community. The findings indicated that almost half (42.9–48.1%) of these parents are hearing their child report about verbal and relational bullying at least once a week. Parents noted that they are personally intervening in bullying situations approximately once each school year. Parents responded that they believe students are most at-risk for being bullied between classes, during break periods, and after school, as well as on the playground, on the school bus, and in the hallways, bathrooms, and school cafeteria. Overall, parents rated the most frequently used interventions as somewhat effective in combating bullying in their child's school. Such interventions included counseling or talking with the bully, suspension, and time-out for the bully following an incident.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





bullying, parent perceptions, school intervention, Parent Teacher Association