Perceived Bullying and Social Support in Students Accessing Special Inclusion Programming

Abstract

Perceived bullying experiences, fear of school violence, and social support were investigated in 24 students with disabilities (SWD) in self-contained special education classes and 24 peers with no known disabilities (Peers) who participated in a pilot recreation-focused inclusion program, Peer EXPRESS. Middle and high school students were invited 10 and 34 weeks after the beginning of school to complete the Reynolds’s Bully Victimization Scale (BVS) and School Violence Anxiety Scale (SVAS) and Harter’s Social Support Scale (HSS). Significantly higher rates of perceived victimization by peers and greater anxiety about multiple forms of peer victimization were noted among SWD both before and after the supplemental inclusion intervention. Although paired t-tests showed significant declines in SWD reports of victimization and anxiety over 24 weeks in Peer EXPRESS, declines were not great enough to eliminate the SWD-Peer discrepancy or substantially change perceived social support. Implications for students’ personal safety and inclusive programming are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Ruth Taylor Reasoner, Kimberly Veronee, and the faculty and staff of participating schools for supporting Peer EXPRESS and this research.

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Correspondence to Conway F. Saylor.

Additional information

This research was made possible by a faculty research grant from The Citadel Foundation as well the Peer EXPRESS intervention grant from the South Carolina Governor’s Office Developmental Disabilities Council

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Saylor, C.F., Leach, J.B. Perceived Bullying and Social Support in Students Accessing Special Inclusion Programming. J Dev Phys Disabil 21, 69–80 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-008-9126-4

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Keywords

  • Bullying
  • Peer victimization
  • Inclusion
  • Students with disabilities