Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Roddrick Colvin

Committee Members

Candace McCoy

Jeremy Porter

Subject Categories



bullying, anti-bullying safety net, role theory, New York City Police Department, school safety agents, New York City public schools, logistic regression, path analysis


Research on school-based bullying gives little attention to how school-based law enforcement personnel perceive their roles while addressing alleged and real acts of bullying, and whether their roles influence their decisions to get involved in instances of bullying. Since research neglects to assess the extent to which personal and contextual factors of law enforcement personnel assigned to schools affect how they perceive themselves in this role and their degree of involvement in instances of bullying, this study addresses two questions:

(1) How do New York City Police Department School Safety Agents (SSAs) in NYC public schools perceive their roles in their school’s anti-bullying efforts?

(2) How do perceptions of SSAs regarding bullying affect their responses to reported incidents of bullying?

Assessing the ways SSAs perceive their roles in bullying prevention is important to understanding how their views construct their positions or importance in the process. Assessing the perceptions of SSAs concerning bullying is important to understanding how their views influence their involvement or abstention in reported instances of bullying. To address the research questions, personal and contextual factors of SSAs were developed by examining literature that identifies characteristics of officers (i.e., age, race, gender, education, and experience) and their influences on how they perceive their roles and decision-making regarding taking police action. These factors were analyzed using logistic regression and path analysis to test the influence of personal, contextual, and mediating factors on SSA involvement or abstention in reported incidents of bullying. Logistic regression analyses of individual and contextual factors suggest that SSAs’ identification of bullying was a strong predictor of involvement and intervention. Path analyses supported these results, suggesting a strong, direct effect between SSA identification of bullying and degree of involvement. Results from this study suggest that ensuring that SSAs identify instances of adolescent bullying is vital to maintaining and enhancing a school’s anti-bullying efforts, and more importantly, increasing and maintaining law enforcement personnel assigned to schools’ awareness of bullying through training and strong partnerships with school officials aid prevention of school bullying.

Included in

Criminology Commons



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