School psychologists' attitudes toward bullying and homosexuality

Kimberly M. Hill Perry, University of Rhode Island


The purpose of this study was to investigate school psychologists' attitudes regarding bullying and homosexuality, to explore perceived differences between general bullying incidents and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) related bullying incidents, and to gather information about the presence of anti-bullying policies and programs in schools. Three hundred and thirty-one randomly sampled school psychologists who were current members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) participated in the study. Participants' attitudes regarding bullying and homosexuality were explored. ^ The results were encouraging as the school psychologists endorsed factors that suggested they are not tolerant of bullying behaviors as measured by the Attitudes Regarding Bullying (ARB) scale. Results of the multivariate analysis of variance indicated the education/training received about bullying and the grade level at which the school psychologists worked did not have an impact on the factors that influence the presence and acceptance of bullying behaviors. Overall, the participants held positive attitudes regarding GLB persons and issues as measured by the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Knowledge and Attitudes Scale for Heterosexuals (LGB-KASH). Results of the multivariate analysis of variance found no significant differences in attitudes based on the sex of the participant. Differences were significant based on the education/training received and the presence of a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). When examining general bullying and GLB-related bullying, the majority of the participants reported the individuals involved in the interventions (staff and students), the interventions used, and the consequences given were usually the same for general and GLB-related bullying incidents. Approximately 60% of the participants reported a bullying prevention program or policy was present at their schools, with 15% reporting the program/policy addressed sexual orientation or gender identity. Harassment policies were reported to be more comprehensive, with almost half (46.8%) of the participants reporting their school's harassment policy included sexual orientation or gender identity. Social desirability did not appear to influence the participants' responses on the self-report measures as assessed by correlations between each of the subscales and the Marlow-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Research obstacles and limitations for the present study as well as future directions for research are discussed. ^

Subject Area

GLBT Studies|Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

Kimberly M. Hill Perry, "School psychologists' attitudes toward bullying and homosexuality" (2010). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3415519.