Master of Arts (MA)
There has been increased recognition of the negative impact of being bullied on youth maladjustment. As such, identifying environmental and psychological factors that moderate the impact of bullying is an important research consideration. In evaluating the effectiveness of intervention, it is imperative that research examine processes that may function to buffer adverse effects. Although social support has been shown to mitigate the impact of trauma on children and adults, few studies have examined the role of social support as a protective factor for victimized youth. The present study investigated perceived social support as a protective factor against the negative impact of bullying on self-esteem and internalizing symptoms. Additionally, specific sources of social support (e.g., parent, peer, adult, relative, sibling) were examined to determine whether unique sources of support differentially moderated negative outcomes. Participants were 284 adolescents between the ages of 11 to 18 (M = 14.93, SD = 2.03), with 43.4% of the sample constituting ethno-racial minorities. After controlling for the effects of gender, hierarchical regression and simple slope analysis revealed that social support significantly moderated symptoms of anxiety, but not depression. Specifically, parental social support was the strongest predictor of anxiety, whereas peer and relative social support were the strongest predictors of depression in bullied youth. Strengths, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
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Galsky, Ashley P., "Bullying Victimization, Internalizing Symptoms, and the Moderating Effects of Social Support" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4528.
Kelley, Mary Lou