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Extracurricular Activities and Bullying Among Children and Adolescents with Disabilities

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between participation in extracurricular activities and bullying perpetration and victimization among children and adolescents with disabilities.

Methods

A nationally representative sample of 1906 children with and 15,901 children without disabilities and 1782 adolescents with and 15,885 adolescents without disabilities from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health was utilized. Parent-reported responses pertaining to bullying perpetration and victimization and extracurricular engagement were analyzed. Separate multilevel logistic regression analyses were conducted for children and adolescents, and separate analyses were conducted with a full sample of children as well as with a subset of children with disabilities.

Results

A nationally representative sample of 1906 children with and 15,901 children without disabilities and 1782 adolescents with and 15,885 adolescents without disabilities from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health was utilized. Parent-reported responses pertaining to bullying perpetration and victimization and extracurricular engagement were analyzed. Results indicated that extracurricular engagement can reduce the likelihood of experiencing bullying victimization among adolescences with disabilities. However, extracurricular engagement was not associated with lower odds of bullying perpetration.

Conclusions for Practice

These findings contribute to our understanding of the role extracurricular engagement can play in bullying behaviors among youth with disabilities. Similar to children without disabilities, it appears that engagement in extracurricular activities is significantly associated with lower odds of experiencing bullying victimization among those with disabilities. Conversely, the positive effects of extracurricular involvement on bullying perpetration risk was not evident in this current study.

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Correspondence to Justin A. Haegele.

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Haegele, J.A., Aigner, C. & Healy, S. Extracurricular Activities and Bullying Among Children and Adolescents with Disabilities. Matern Child Health J 24, 310–318 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-019-02866-6

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Keywords

  • Victimization
  • Sport
  • Youth
  • Education