Teachers have a major impact on students’ social cognition and behaviors, and previous research has found that students who have positive relationships with their teachers tend to be less bullied by their peers. However, this line of research is limited in that it has been (a) Dominated by cross-sectional studies and (b) Treated bullying victimization as a global construct without differentiating among its different forms (i.e., verbal, physical, and relational). The links might be reciprocal but further studies are needed to investigate the directionality. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the longitudinal associations between student–teacher relationship quality and two forms of bullying victimization, namely verbal and relational victimization. Three waves of data from 1885 Swedish fourth- through sixth-grade students were analyzed with cross-lagged panel models. The findings showed that the student–teacher relationship quality predicted and was predicted by verbal and relational victimization. Our findings thus underscore the importance of striving for caring, warm, supportive, and respectful student–teacher relationships as a component of schools’ prevention efforts.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).
- Bullying victimization
- Longitudinal design
- Relational bullying
- Student–teacher relationship quality
- Verbal bullying