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Children’s Moral Reasoning and Defending Behavior in School Bullying: The Moderation Effects of Classroom Level Characteristics

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2018, 31(2), pp.83-103
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2018.06.31.2.83
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : April 14, 2018
  • Accepted : June 1, 2018

Keng-Hie Song 1 Seung-yeon Lee 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines why moral reasoning does not always predict defending behavior in school bullying. The moderation effects of classroom level characteristics including collective efficacy and classroom climate were studied to explain this inconsistent relationship. For this research, a self-administered survey was conducted by 373 participants from the fourth grade nested in 111 classes in 29 elementary schools in South Korea. Data was analyzed by bullying types using multilevel modeling. The results indicated that the moral domain did not have a significant impact on students’ defending behavior. Informal social control derived from peer relationships, one sub-factor of collective efficacy, positively predicted individual students’ defending behavior in both physical and verbal bullying. The effect of moral reasoning on defending behaviors in verbal bullying situations was moderated by a sense of fairness in the classroom. The classroom characteristics should be considered in the development of intervention plans for school bullying as well as the individual moral reasoning of students.

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