Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Malecki, Christine K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Aggressiveness in youth; Bullying; Social phobia


Anywhere from 25-40% of students are involved in bully participation behaviors at school, including bullying, victimization, outsider, and defending. A majority of these behaviors can result in adverse effects (i.e., social anxiety). Gender and age differences among bully participant behaviors have been found in extant research. Further, research has suggested relationships between each of the bully participant behaviors and the Big Five personality characteristics. Therefore, the primary objective of the current evaluation was to investigate the association among adolescent boys' and girls' personality traits, their level of involvement in bully participant behaviors, and level of social anxiety. Adolescent participants (N=644) completed measures of personality traits, bully participant behaviors, and social anxiety. Results suggested gender differences on social anxiety, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and bullying behaviors. Grade differences were found on bullying behavior. Several associations were found among each of the four bully participant behaviors with at least one of the four personality characteristics; neuroticism was consistently associated with all four behaviors. Lastly, level of social anxiety mediated the relationship between level of neuroticism and defending behaviors.


Advisors: Christine Malecki.||Committee members: Michelle Demaray; Amanda Durik; Julia Ogg; Laura Pittman; Kelly Summers.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vii, 146 pages




Northern Illinois University

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