Moral Approval of Bullying Scale - SSS

The Moral Approval of Bullying Scale is a 10-item subscale of the longer Student School Survey (SSS), a 70-item measure of school experiences.  The SSS consists of 10 subscales measuring the following areas: social cohesion and trust, school climate, the perception of bullying as a problem at school, perpetration of bullying, bully bystander behavior, bully victimization, perceived peer support, self-esteem, moral approval of bullying, and informal social control.  The SSS is a self-administered questionnaire, and has been used with youth ages 10 to 17 years.


Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Complete measurement tool reference:
Williams, K. R., & Guerra, N. G. (2007). Prevalence and predictors of internet bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, s14–s21.

Complete measurement tool hyperlink:

Adaptation made/subset of questions selected:
This scale is part of a larger 70-item survey.
Scoring / Benchmarking
Before analyzing the data, code answer options as follows:
Really Wrong = 0
Sort of Wrong = 1
Sort of OK = 2
Perfectly OK = 3
Pass = (do not enter any value)

Reverse code answer options for questions 8-9 follows:
Really Wrong = 3
Sort of Wrong = 2
Sort of OK = 1
Perfectly OK = 0
Pass = (do not enter any value)

An index score between 0 and 30 can be calculated by adding the scores of all questions. Higher scores indicate more favorable attitudes toward bullying. Aggregate scores may be calculated by assigning a 1 to response values of 1, 2 or 3 and then summing the recoded values. A summary score of 0 would suggest that the student does not tolerate bullying; a score of anything above would suggest some favorable attitudes toward bullying exist. Students in the former category could be assigned a 0 and students in the latter category could be assigned a 1. Then the number of respondents who receive a 1 could be divided by the total number of respondents to obtain a percent of students who have favorable attitudes towards bullying.

There are no formal benchmarks for this indicator. Therefore, programs can set their own benchmarks based on how their students score at the beginning of the program. For example, if 50 percent of the students have favorable attitudes toward bullying at baseline, then programs could decide to cut this in half to 25 percent by the completion of the program.
Background / Quality
This tool is available in English and has primarily been tested with white students in the 5th, 8th, and 11th grade students.
Is there a cost associated with this tool?
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