The Effect of Middle School Music Ensemble Participation on the Relationship between Perceived School Connectedness, Self-Reported Bullying Behaviors, and Peer Victimization.
Author(s)Rawlings, Jared R.
Contributor(s)Fitzpatrick, Kate Rebecca
Stoddard, Sarah A.
Skadsem, Julie Ann
Hopkins, Michael T.
Ryan, Allison Murphy
KeywordsMusic Ensemble Participation
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between school connectedness and youth aggression with middle school students enrolled and not enrolled in a school-based music ensemble. Research questions were designed to generate data regarding the frequencies of bullying behaviors and perceptions of school connectedness. Data were secured from a large-scale, two-year randomized trial funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (# CE3240). Participants (N = 470) selected for this study attended two middle schools located in central Illinois and voluntarily responded to the questionnaire by self-reporting demographic information, including their enrollment in a music course, and their behaviors relating to bullying, victimization, and Internet Harassment. Results indicated that, on average, relatively few instances of bullying perpetration and peer victimization were reported to have occurred in the 30 days prior to data collection. A statistically significant difference was found between music ensemble and non-ensemble participants according to their mean Bullying Scale scores, which revealed that non-ensemble students in this sample perpetrate aggressive behaviors, on average, more frequently than do music ensemble students. Although all participants reported relatively few instances of bullying perpetration, instances of peer victimization were reported more frequently than were experiences perpetrating these behaviors. While participant self-reports of bullying behaviors were relatively low, their perceptions of school connectedness were relatively high. Multiple-group Structural Equation Modeling analyses demonstrated that the level of associations between school connectedness and Internet Harassment perpetration were significantly associated with adolescents enrolled in a music ensemble course during middle school. The results also displayed a stronger negative association between perceptions of school connectedness and Internet harassment perpetration for music ensemble students than for adolescents not enrolled in a school-based music ensemble. Mediation analyses demonstrated that adolescent perceptions of school connectedness did not mediate the relationship between a participant???s ensemble enrollment status and their self-reported frequencies of bullying, peer victimization, cyberbullying, and cyber victimization. Included are implications for the better support of preservice and in-service music teachers with regard to bullying in schools, alongside recommendations for music teacher education and suggestions for future research.