Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Usen Akpanudo


The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of an authoritative school climate on perceptions of bullying among middle school students after controlling for demographic characteristics. In this quantitative nonexperimental study, 320 seventh-grade students were selected from four public middle schools in Arkansas using a multistage sampling technique. The Authoritative School Climate Survey was used to obtained data on the students’ perceptions of their school climate (disciplinary structure and support systems), their demographic characteristics (gender, ethnicity, and school location) as well as their perceptions about bullying in the following areas: (a) prevalence of teasing and bullying, (b) prevalence of bullying by teachers/staff, (c) aggressive attitudes, and (d) bullying experiences. Hierarchical Multiple Regression analysis revealed that although demographic characteristics explained some of the variations in perceptions about bullying, perceptions about school climate was the single most important factor in predicting perceptions about bullying. These findings have implications for school leaders trying to understand the problem of bullying at the middle vii school level. The findings also provide empirical support for the Authoritative School Climate Theory, which suggests that school climate has an important influence on student behavior.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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