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NCJ Number: 220777 Find in a Library
Title: Perceived Social Support Among Bullies, Victims, and Bully-Victims
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:36  Issue:8  Dated:November 2007  Pages:984-994
Author(s): Melissa K. Holt; Dorothy L. Espelage
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined links among social support, bully/victim status, and psychological distress in a sample of 784 ethnically diverse youth.
Abstract: The study found that girls reported more peer social support than boys, although girls did not report more maternal social support than boys. Middle-school youth perceived more maternal social support than high-school students. White students tended to report somewhat more peer social support and somewhat less maternal social support than non-White students. Consistent with study hypotheses and previous research, uninvolved students reported greater perceived social support from their friends and mothers than victims of bullying and those who were both bullies and victims ("bully-victims") and greater maternal social support than victims. Bullies did not differ from uninvolved students in their perception of social support from peers. The current finding that perceived social support is greater for students who are uninvolved in bullying and victimization from bullying adds to the literature but says little about how and when students use their friends and families for social support. Prevention and intervention should consider the complex interplay between individuals' use of social support and how peers might actually support bullying. Antibullying programs should include components that encourage the development of healthy peer social support networks and teach youth how to use these networks effectively. The study involved 424 middle-school and 360 high-school students. Each participant completed a demographic questionnaire with questions about his/her sex, age, grade, and race/ethnicity. The University of Illinois Bully Scale assessed bullying behavior, including teasing, social exclusion, name-calling, and rumor-spreading. Victimization from peers was assessed with the University of Illinois Victimization Scale; and psychological functioning was determined from the anxiety/depression scale of the Youth Self-Report. Social support was measured with the Support/Cohesion Microsystem Scale. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 57 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Bullying; Comparative analysis; Social conditions
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