To Help or Not to Help? The relation between Jewish children's perceptions of their parent attitudes about bullying and pro-social engagement with classmates in bullying instances
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The purpose of this study is to focus on the influence that children's perceptions of their parents' attitudes about bullying has on their own attitudes about bullying and defending victims, as well as their actual defending behavior and general pro-social behavior. This study utilizes data collected for a previous study of the BRAVE bully prevention curriculum (Novick & Isaacs, 2010. The 245 participants were children from five modern orthodox Jewish day schools in the United States, from grades sixth, through eighth. Correlations coefficients were obtained to examine the relation between children's reports of their parent's bullying related attitudes and children's own anti-bullying attitudes, pro-social and bystander behavior, and pro-social problem solving. Parent's attitudes against bullying were correlated positively with children's positive bystander behaviors and pro-social problem solving skills. Parents' anti bullying attitudes were also positively correlated with children's attitudes against bullying and pro-social behavior, however, they correlated primarily when children perceived their parents as having stronger, more obvious anti-bullying attitudes, rather than when they thought their parent's endorsed strategies aimed at redirecting or distracting bullies. The research confirms that children's perceptions of their parents' attitudes about bullying are strongly linked to their own attitudes and behaviors. This would indicate that in order to strengthen bully prevention programs, it would be beneficial to include parents as a critical component.