Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Demaray, Michelle K.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Unfortunately, bullying is a common phenomenon many adolescent students experience during middle school (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015). Given the negative outcomes often associated with experiencing victimization, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in these associations as well as potential protective factors (Nakamoto & Schwartz, 2010). Using 89 students in grades 5 through 8, the current study focused on the negative outcome of depression and it explored rumination as a mediator in this association. Additionally, the roles of gender and social support (from parents, teachers, and close friends) were explored within this mediation model as moderators. Another aim of this study was to explore the development of a novel rumination measure, Rumination in Response to Children being Mean (RRCM), which measures the extent to which students ruminate after their classmates are mean to them. Furthering the victimization and depression research is important given the prevalence of bullying is relatively high among middle school populations and there are lasting negative impacts of victimization experiences (Barchia & Bussey, 2010). Findings of the current study indicate, using the RRCM, that there are two factors of rumination (internal and external). Additionally, social support was associated with rumination, particularly for girls. Although there was moderated mediation with teacher social support and internal and external rumination, the study overall did not find evidence to suggest a stress buffering effect of social support in the mediation model of rumination in the association between victimization and depression symptoms. Although, there is evidence to suggest that rumination mediates the association between victimization and depression. Implications of these results are discussed.


117 pages




Northern Illinois University

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Psychology Commons