Direct and Indirect Bully-Victims: Differential Psychosocial Risk Factors Associated With Adolescents Involved in Bullying and Victimization

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Abstract

The present study examined psychosocial risk factors that differentiated direct and indirect bully-victims from bullies, victims and uninvolved adolescents. A total of 7,290 (3,756 girls) students (ages 13-18 yr) from a region of Southern Ontario, Canada, completed a number of self-report measures to determine the relation between direct and indirect bullying and victimization and several psychosocial risk factors, including normative beliefs about antisocial acts, angry-externalizing coping, social anxiety, depression, self-esteem, temperament, attachment, parental monitoring and peer relational problems. ANCOVA and logistic regression analyses indicated that indirect bully-victims and victims were similar in demonstrating greater internalizing problems and peer relational problems than indirect bullies and uninvolved participants. Furthermore, adolescents involved in indirect bullying (bullies, bully-victims) reported a higher level of normative beliefs legitimizing antisocial behaviour and less parental monitoring (males only) than indirect victims and uninvolved participants. Only normative beliefs legitimizing antisocial behaviour distinguished direct bully-victims and bullies from victims and uninvolved adolescents. Results illuminate the distinct characteristics of direct and indirect bully-victims; theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

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