STUDENTS´ ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOL: ANALYSES ACCORDING TO PEER VICTIMIZATION AND GRADE, THROUGHOUT ADOLESCENCE

F. Veiga1, S. Caldeira2

1Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto de Educação (PORTUGAL)
2Universidade dos Açores (PORTUGAL)
Conceptual Frame: In recent years, students’ engagement in school (SES) has been pointed out a mean to prevent and address the occurrence of victimization behaviors between students, either as aggressors or as victims; however, there is a lack of empirical studies on the relationship between these constructs, throughout adolescence. Objective: To study how the relationships between SES and victimization behaviors vary throughout the adolescence years of schooling is the aim of the present study. Method: The sample consisted of 685 students from different regions of the country, of both sexes, divided by grade (6th, 7th, 9th and 10th). Data were collected in classroom context through a survey that included items from the “Multidimensional Peer Victimization Scale” and the questionnaire “Student’s Engagement in School - A Four Dimensional Scale (SES-4DS)”, which includes a cognitive, an affective, a behavioral and an agentic dimension (Veiga, 2013). Results: The results from the analysis of engagement variance (anova two-way 2x3), according to grade (6th and 7th versus 9th and 10th grades) and peer victimization (low, medium and high), allowed to find a decrease throughout schooling years, either in SES, as in peer victimization behaviors (PVB); the significant effects of the interaction of the variables PV and grade emerged only in the cognitive and behavioral dimensions, and were due to a larger decrease in such dimensions, in the group with higher PVB, throughout the years. Conclusions: results are considered within the context of social-cognitive perspective of development; and suggest further deeper analyses, in addition to activation measures of variables such as students’ engagement in school, as a form to diminish peer victimization conducts.