Exploring the relation between bullying and homophobic verbal content: the homophobic content agent target (HCAT) scale

V Paul Poteat, Dorothy L Espelage
Violence and Victims 2005, 20 (5): 513-28
This investigation quantitatively examines the association among homophobic content, bullying, victimization, empathy, and several psychosocial outcomes of these constructs. The 2-factor Homophobic Content Agent Target (HCAT) scale was developed and validated among 191 middle school students to assess the extent to which students both use and are called various epithets in reference to sexual orientation. Cronbach reliability coefficients of alpha = .85 were obtained for both factors. Convergent validity was demonstrated with scales measuring bullying, fighting, victimization, relational aggression and victimization, anxiety and depression, and delinquency. Discriminant validity was demonstrated in comparison with school sense of belonging, empathy, and perspective-taking. Discriminative validity was demonstrated through sex differences on several scales. Results strongly suggest that homophobic content is prevalent in various forms of aggression and victimization, and that future research should examine the role of homophobia in bullying and victimization in schools.

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