Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Demaray, Michelle K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Bullying in schools--Middle West--Psychological aspects; Middle school students--Social networks--Middle West


Bullying continues to be a significant problem for schools in the United States. Research in the past has focused on characteristics and outcomes of bullies and victims. In 2007, Holt and Espelage called for more research into the constructs that may buffer victims from distress, especially in the context of social-ecological theory. Social support is one construct within the social-ecological model. In 2007, Davidson and Demaray found that social support buffered victims of bullying from internalizing distress due to bullying. However, this study, along with most bullying research studies, was cross-sectional. It is also important to consider how victimization, social support, and distress due to bullying change longitudinally. The major goal of this study was to examine the relationship among social support, victimization, maladjustment, and distress due to bullying across a two-year span among adolescents. The more specific goals of this study, broadly, are three-fold. First, an examination of the stability of three major constructs across two-years was warranted. These constructs are social support, victimization, and distress due to bullying. Second, an examination of the predictability of constructs at Time 1 (T1) to Time 2 (T2) was also warranted, as there is a paucity of longitudinal bullying research within a social-ecological model. Third, an examination of the buffering effects of social support on victimization and maladjustment and distress due to bullying both in cross-sectional and longitudinal frameworks was also necessary to further work on a social-ecological theory of bullying. The results of this study indicate there are negative long-term effects of prior victimization, and that a closer examination of the coping and preventative strategies to reduce negative outcomes is warranted. Future research should focus on the role of global social support and other coping strategies as they relate to bullying and victimization.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [166]-179).


x, 196 pages




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