Publication Date

2007

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Demaray, Michelle K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of Psychology

LCSH

Bullying--Illinois--Psychological aspects||School children--Illinois--Psychology

Abstract

The present study investigated the perceived social support and self-esteem of third- through sixth-grade students (N= 264) who were victims of relational bullying. Students who were victims of direct types of bullying and those who were victims of both types of bullying (relational and direct) were also included in the investigation. The relationship among social support and self-esteem in victimized students (i.e., relational victims, direct victims, and relational/direct victims) was examined. Finally, the role of social support in protecting the self-esteem of victimized students was also investigated. Relational bullying, which was defined as repeated, unprovoked behavior intended to damage an individual’s social standing, includes behaviors like spreading rumors and excluding others from social groups. Despite its covert nature, relational bullying may have detrimental effects on adjustment and personal well-being similar to the effects of more overt types of bullying. Social support is the provision of emotional and material resources by family, friends, and other significant individuals in one’s life. Like selfesteem, social support is linked to many beneficial outcomes. Additionally, social support appears to have a beneficial and protective effect on self-esteem for those at risk for maladjustment. Contrary to expectations, results indicated that victims of relational bullying did not have lower social support and self-esteem than nonvictims. However, students who were the victims of both relational and direct types of bullying did have lower levels of social support and self-esteem than their nonvictimized peers. Correlations among social support and self-esteem scores indicated significant relationships among social support and self-esteem for female victims of relational bullying, but not males. Finally, total social support moderated the relationship among total (relational and direct) bullying and low self-esteem, but support from individual sources did not moderate the negative impact of relational bullying on specific facets of self-esteem. Future studies would benefit from investigating relational bullying and victimization as a construct distinct from other types of bullying.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [108]-119]).

Extent

xi, 142 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

Share

COinS