Self-control, social integration, and bullying behavior : an application of structural equation modeling (SEM)
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The current study examined the longitudinal relations among self-control problems, social integration in school, bullying behavior, and later aggression. Latent growth models showed that self-control problems decreased while bullying behavior increased from 3rd grade to 6th grade. A parallel growth model demonstrated the longitudinal relationship between self-control problems and bullying behavior over time. Furthermore, the initial status and the decrease in self-control problems were associated with social integration, which in turn influenced students’ proximal (i.e., 6th bullying behavior) and distal outcomes (i.e., aggression at age 15). Moreover, the initial status and the decrease in self-control problems influenced proximal and distal outcomes indirectly through their influence on social integration. The findings suggested that intervening to promote students’ feelings of social integration in the school context could have important and lasting effects on bullying and aggressive behaviors.