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Peer victimization and depression : the roles of social support and cognitive vulnerabilities

Peer victimization and depression : the roles of social support and cognitive vulnerabilities
Peer victimization and depression : the roles of social support and cognitive vulnerabilities

Bullying occurs in most schools to a certain extent. However, this does not mean bully-victim relationships should be considered to be acceptable.  Being the victim of bullying has been associated with a range of maladjustment variables in children, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress.  Depression is the internalising symptom that has been most strongly associated with victimization (Hawker and Boulton, 2002).  Yet there has been little research into either protective or risk factors for depression in victimized children.  Theories of depression following stressful life events would suggest that social support and cognitive vulnerabilities are two important factors to investigate.  The first paper explores the literature on bullying and theories of depression in children.  The review brings these two areas of research together by examining social support and cognitive vulnerabilities in children.

The current study had two aims.  Firstly, to investigate whether social support protected children from depression and secondly, to investigate whether cognitive errors were a risk factor for depression in victimized children.  A cross-sectional design was used to compare victims and non-victims.  Victimization was assessed by peer nomination and depression, cognitive errors and social support were assessed by self-report.  Data were analysed using t-tests, analysis of covariance and correlations.  Results supported the hypothesis that depression is associated with victimization.  When cognitive errors were controlled the difference in depression scores between victims and non-victims was reduced.  Social support had different effects in boys and girls.  Limitations of the study and implications for future research are discussed.

University of Southampton
Dibnah, Caroline E
Dibnah, Caroline E

Dibnah, Caroline E (2003) Peer victimization and depression : the roles of social support and cognitive vulnerabilities. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Bullying occurs in most schools to a certain extent. However, this does not mean bully-victim relationships should be considered to be acceptable.  Being the victim of bullying has been associated with a range of maladjustment variables in children, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress.  Depression is the internalising symptom that has been most strongly associated with victimization (Hawker and Boulton, 2002).  Yet there has been little research into either protective or risk factors for depression in victimized children.  Theories of depression following stressful life events would suggest that social support and cognitive vulnerabilities are two important factors to investigate.  The first paper explores the literature on bullying and theories of depression in children.  The review brings these two areas of research together by examining social support and cognitive vulnerabilities in children.

The current study had two aims.  Firstly, to investigate whether social support protected children from depression and secondly, to investigate whether cognitive errors were a risk factor for depression in victimized children.  A cross-sectional design was used to compare victims and non-victims.  Victimization was assessed by peer nomination and depression, cognitive errors and social support were assessed by self-report.  Data were analysed using t-tests, analysis of covariance and correlations.  Results supported the hypothesis that depression is associated with victimization.  When cognitive errors were controlled the difference in depression scores between victims and non-victims was reduced.  Social support had different effects in boys and girls.  Limitations of the study and implications for future research are discussed.

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Published date: 2003

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Local EPrints ID: 467184
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467184
PURE UUID: cc9a4492-34f1-44f8-be9c-52542a89ca7f

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 08:15
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 08:15

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Contributors

Author: Caroline E Dibnah

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