Individual and Contextual Factors Associated with School Staff Responses to Homophobic Bullying
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This cross-sectional research investigates the individual (i.e., sexual prejudice, contact with lesbian and gay [LG] people, and perceived seriousness of homophobic epithets) and contextual (i.e., homophobic bullying observed by school staff and perceived colleague reactions to homophobic bullying) factors as predictors of school staff intervention against vs. legitimization of homophobic bullying. Data were collected in secondary schools in the North of Italy via a paper-and-pencil survey. Participants were school staff members (N = 273) from 24 Italian secondary schools. The results have indicated that the higher the sexual prejudice and the lower the contact with LG individuals, the higher the legitimization of homophobic bullying. Also, perceiving colleagues as legitimizing or intervening in cases of homophobic bullying predicted similar reactions on the part of school staff participants. The findings are discussed with respect to the current literature regarding homophobic bullying, and applied interventions for school staff training programs to tackle homophobic bullying at school are put forward.
KeywordsSchool climate School staff Bullying Homophobia Contact hypothesis Secondary school
This research was supported by Finanziamento per Ricerca di Ateneo (FRA 2016 University of Trieste) to the first and second author.
We would like to thank Loredana Panariti, Ketty Segatti, and Maria Graziella Pellegrini—Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Direzione centrale lavoro, formazione, istruzione, pari opportunità, politiche giovanili, ricerca e università. Area istruzione, formazione e ricercar—for the support to this research.
We would like also to thank Karry Close for her careful review of our work.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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