Date of Graduation

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Timothy A. Cavell

Committee Member

Ana J. Bridges

Second Committee Member

Ellen Leen-Feldner

Keywords

Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire, Peer Victimization, School Bullying, Screener, Stable Peer Victims

Abstract

I evaluated the utility of using the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ) in identifying stably peer-victimized children. Participants were 676 fourth grade students from 37 classrooms in ten public schools. Stable peer victims were identified as children who met elevated levels of peer victimization at both fall and late spring assessments from at least one source (i.e., self, peer, teacher). Four potential screeners using the OBVQ were evaluated. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify how well a recommended cutoff point from the global item of the OBVQ (i.e., being bullied 2 or 3 times a month) identified stable victims. Additional analyses were undertaken to evaluate the utility of using other thresholds from the OBVQ (i.e., being bullied about once a week, several times a week). Four items related to specific types of victimization (i.e., relational, verbal, physical, exclusionary) from the OBVQ were averaged as a continuous variable to evaluate another potential method of identifying stable victims. Gender and ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic, Caucasian non-Hispanic) were explored in analyses for the optimal screener. The results indicated that the OBVQ underperformed in identifying stably victimized children. Possible reasons as to why the screeners were less than optimal were explored, as well as potential implications for the field.