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Victimization and internalizing problems: Examining the experience of repeated bullying, anxiety, and depression

Amanda B Siebecker, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between repetition of bullying and internalizing symptoms. Specifically, changes in anxious and depressive symptomotology were investigated across victimization categories including the frequency, duration, and severity of bullying. Participants were 377, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in public middle schools in a mid-sized Midwestern city. Data were collected in Fall 2006, Spring 2007, and Fall 2007. The results of this study elucidated the importance of understanding the role of repetition in the experience of being bullied. Participants who were frequently bullied over a long duration experienced the highest levels of depression compared to individuals who were bullied less frequently or for a shorter duration. Individuals who were frequently bullied showed a significant increase in anxiety symptoms following the onset of bullying compared to those who had been bullied frequently for a longer duration. Those who were able to escape bullying experienced concurrent decreases in internalizing problems. The identification of those adolescents who are most severely bullied in terms of frequency and/or duration is important for effective and efficient intervention. Interventions for bullying tend to be largely prevention-based; however individual level interventions may be warranted for certain groups of victims. ^

Subject Area

Education, Middle School|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Siebecker, Amanda B, "Victimization and internalizing problems: Examining the experience of repeated bullying, anxiety, and depression" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3386561.