Bullying victimization, covitality, and school climate: The moderating effect of accumulative positive traits



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Bullying is an unfortunate, negative behavior occurring in schools today that comes with a host of negative outcomes. There are a variety of facets that influence bullying; two important ones include the school climate and the individual traits of the student. The way in which students perceive their school is highly impactful of whether they will have positive or negative experiences. Bullying victimization is a part of those experiences in school that shape a student’s view. Additionally, internal attributes also help influence how a student will respond and interpret their experiences. The concept of covitality suggests that students who have a greater number of positive traits are more likely to experience positive outcomes and have greater resilience to negative outcomes. An accumulation of positive traits may equip students who are the victim of bullying with the resources to overcome the negative experience that might negatively shape their view of their school. The purpose of this study is to address the research question of whether covitality moderates the relationship between bullying victimization and school climate. The results of the study found that students generally reported less bullying victimization, higher covitality, and higher school climate. There was a relationship between bullying victimization and school climate. When covitality was added, bullying victimization and covitality, together, predicted school climate. However, covitality was not shown to moderate the relationship between bullying victimization and school climate. These effects did not differ by gender. Limitations, future research, and implications for practice are discussed.



Bullying, Bullying victimization, Covitality, Positive traits, School climate