Understanding the cycle of violence: an examination of bully and victim social roles in early childhood

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Jonathan G. Tubman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Wendy K. Silverman

Third Advisor's Name

Luis Escovar

Fourth Advisor's Name

Martha Pelaez-Norgueras

Fifth Advisor's Name

Marilyn Montgomery

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of bullying and victimization in a metropolitan area. A cross-sectional study with kindergarten (n = 127) and first grade (n = 126) children was conducted in two Miami-Dade County Public Schools and three private schools in the same area. Bullying and victimization behavior and social acceptance were assessed through peer nomination and the mental health outcomes of depression and anxiety were assessed through children's self-report. Teachers and parents also completed a social behavior scale for each child. Three areas of analyses were conducted pertaining to membership classification of social roles and the social acceptance and mental health outcomes associated with those roles, reporter agreement within the social roles, and the psychometric properties of the Childhood Social Behavior Scale. Results showed an overall negative pattern of adjustment for children identified as a member of any of the negative social roles. Also, the results support a new analytic approach to the investigation of social roles. The implication of these findings for early identification, social policy, and effective prevention strategies are discussed.



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