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This study analyzed teacher ratings from the national standardization sample of the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) to examine the role of elementary and secondary students' social skills, problem behavior, and academic competence as they relate to bullying behavior. Regression analyses indicated slightly different concurrent predictors of bullying behavior for elementary (N = 544) and secondary (N = 200) students. Specifically, low levels of empathy skills and concurrent high levels of externalizing behaviors were relatively strong correlates with bullying behavior of both elementary and secondary school children. For secondary students, assertion skills exhibited at high frequency levels were also a significant predictor of bullying behavior. The resulting predictive models featured social behaviors that educators and other professionals can successfully improve with existing evidence-based intervention programs. A discussion of study limitations and future research concludes the report.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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