Volume 32, Issue 3 (2003)
Assessing the Climate of the Playground and Lunchroom: Implications for Bullying Prevention Programming
Stephen S. Leff, Thomas J. Power, Tracy E. Costigan, Patricia H. Manz
Abstract. A considerable number of bullying prevention and intervention programs are being implemented in elementary schools across the United States and worldwide.However, although the majority of aggressive interchanges between students occur in the playground and lunchroom contexts, many well-known outcome measures of bullying are not particularly sensitive to those unstructured settings.The authors used a participatory action research framework to partner with playground and lunchroom personnel and community members to conduct an extensive scale development study, which resulted in the creation of the Playground and Lunchroom Climate Questionnaire (PLCQ). An initial psychometric study of the PLCQ was conducted to assess school climate variables that may affect children's social and behavioral functioning at school from the perspective of playground and lunchroom personnel. Results from the study suggest that the PLCQ measures two school context variables: (a) structure for activities and monitoring,and (b) staff collaboration. Suggestions for combining the PLCQ with more traditional measures to guide bullying prevention and intervention programming are discussed.
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