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Consequences of school bullying and violence . Christina Salmivalli University of Turku, Finland. It is evident that children exposed to systematic victimization by their peers suffer from adjustment problems
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Consequences of school bullying and violence Christina Salmivalli University of Turku, Finland
It is evident that children exposed to systematic victimization by their peers suffer from adjustment problems • Victimization is concurrently associated with depression, anxiety, low global and social self-concept, suicidal ideation, school avoidance (Card, 2003; Hawker & Boulton, 2000)… • Strongest effect sizes for internalizing problems, BUT victimization is also associated with externalizing problems • Victimization is even related to health problems (Rigby, 2001) • Several interpersonal correlates such as rejection, low number of friends and low friendship quality • The bullies, and especially bully-victims, suffer from adjustment problems as well
Are the associations between victimization and maladjustment only concurrent, or does victimization longitudinally predict adjustment problems?
OVERALL: • Studies investigating the consequences of victimization while controlling for intitial levels in the variables of interest are still surprisingly rare
Many of the concurrent correlates of victimization seem to be bothantecedents and consequences of it • A vicious cycle by which children get trapped in the role of continued victimization • HOWEVER: • Internalizing problems, such as depression, seem to increase as a result of victimization rather than precede it • Low self-esteem, on the other hand, is clearly an antecedent of victimization, whereas evidence of longitudinal changes in (global) self-esteem resulting from victimization is more mixed (e.g., Card, 2003)
Prospective relations between victimization, rejection, friendlessness and children’s self- and peer-perceptions Christina Salmivalli University of Turku, Finland (unpublished data)
Grade 5/6 Grade 6/7 .41 self(1) self(3) -.14 .44 chronic vic (1-2) vic(3) .29 -.21 chronic rej (1-2) .63 -.25 rej(3) -.17 .23 chronic fri (1-2) -.13 fri3 .14 peer(1) peer(3) .31 Figure 2. The final model (chi-square (23)=30.16, p=.14; CFI=.99; RMSEA=.04).
In the short term, victimization seems to influence children’s generalized perception of peers, rather than their view of themselves • A negative self-perception is clearly a risk factor for victimization (but also for other peer relationship adversities, such as rejection and friendlessness)
What about the long run? • Follow-up studies examining the long-term consequences of victimization are, to date, almost nonexistent • As an exception, Olweus (1994) followed up 87 men who had been assessed in grade 9 (and, most of them, also in grade 6) up to 23 years of age. • The former victims were relatively well-adjusted in many respects. However, they had a lower self-esteem and they suffered from depression more often than their non-victimized age-mates.
Long-term influences of victimization: a follow-up from adolescence to young adulthood Christina Salmivalli University of Turku, Finland (unpublished data)
Participants of the study • 274 young adults (145 male and 129 female), who had been involved in a research on school bullying in grade 8 (1996), were approached by mailed questionnaires eight years later (2004) • measures of: depression, self-perception, perception of other people, and interpersonal goals • 52.4% of men and 78.3% of women responded • overall response rate = 64.6%
1996 2004 opp-sex noms same-sex noms self-rep depression vic self others Victimization in grade 8 (1996) assessed with - two self-report items: my classmates make fun of me; people pick on me -peer-nominations from same-sex and opposite-sex classmates Depression: BDI, α = .91 Self-perception: Rosenberg SE items, with the instruction to report ”the way you feel about yourself when interacting with people of your own age”, α = .86 Perception of other people: 13 items describing positive and negative qualities of other people (age-mates), such as "they can really be relied on", "they are hostile", or "they really care about what happens to me"α=.88
1996 2004 opp-sex noms same-sex noms self-rep .15 depression vic -.17 self -.22 others
1996 2004 opp-sex noms same-sex noms self-rep depression -.14 vic self .18 others .16 .35 ”happiness and satisfaction” ”Happiness and satisfaction” scale: I am a happy person; I like being the way I am; I wish I were different; I am unhappy; I am cheerful; I am a lucky person, α=.72
1996 2004 opp-sex noms same-sex noms self-rep .13 depression vic .33 self -.20 others .16 .15 ”happiness and satisfaction”
1996 2004 opp-sex noms same-sex noms self-rep .16 depression vic .32 self -.16 others .16 .44 ”happiness and satisfaction” χ2(5)=9.09, p=.11, CFI=.97, RMSEA=.07 Perceived popularity: 11 items (e.g., I am not very popular; I have many friends). perceived popularity .60 .16 Perceived family support: 6 items (e.g., Nobody cares for me at home; my parents like me) perceived family support
Victimization in adolescence (grade 8, age 14-15) was predictive of young adults’ (age 22-23) depression and their perception of other people • These influences were significant even controlling for scores on ”happiness and satisfaction” measure in grade 8 • Unlike victimization, perceived popularity and/or perceived family support did not predict variance in any of the outcome variables eight years later
Consequences for the group? • Bukowski and Sippola (2001):"victimization not only damages the individual, but damages the group itself as well as the individuals who constitute the group” • How does victimization damage the group?
Experienced and observed victimization and school satisfaction • With multilevel modeling, it is possible to disentangle the variance in school satisfaction between individual students, from variance between different school classes operationalization of school satisfaction: MARK THE FACE THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU WHEN AT SCHOOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ____ ____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ x
A study with 48 classrooms (grades 4 to 6)- some initial findings: • Classrooms differ from each other in the overall degree of victimization • differences in experienced victimization are between individual children, rather than between classrooms: significant differences in observed victimization can be detected between classrooms, however • there are also significant differences between classrooms in school satisfaction • At the individual level, experienced victimization is related to lowered level of school satisfaction • At the classroom level, the overall degree of victimization in the classroom is related to lowered level of school satisfaction
experienced victimization observed victimization 1.00 .72 BETWEEN-LEVEL: (explaining variation between classrooms) degree of victimization in the classroom -.31 shool enjoyment / satisfaction WITHIN-LEVEL: (explaining variation between students) -.06 (n.s.) -.14 observed victimization experienced victimization .16 .61 1.00 1.00 experienced victimization observed victimization gender
Research on consequences of victimization: some future challenges • More prospective studies controlling for adjustment variables at time 1 are needed, to avoid confounding antecedents of victimization from their consequences • Need to identify mechanisms of influence • Need to identify moderators • protective factors ? • Group-level consequences (as well as antecedents) of victimization/aggression are not yet well-known • And what about group-level protective factors?