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A longitudinal investigation of peer victimization, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety among adolescents: A test of cognitive diathesis-stress theory

Cixin Wang, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between two types of peer victimization (overt and relational victimization), depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and self-esteem over three time points. Participants were 1171 fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth graders (623 females) recruited from four elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools in the Midwest. Students’ self-report on peer victimization, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and self-esteem was collected. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine the relationship among those variables. The results showed that self-esteem mediated the relationship between two types of peer victimization and depressive symptoms. Self-esteem was found to mediate the relationship between two types of peer victimization and anxiety symptoms only among older students. Self-esteem was also found to moderate the relationship between relational victimization and depressive symptoms among older students. The results suggest that cognitive diathesis-stress model for depression can be interpreted as both a mediation and moderation model for older students, but only as a mediation model for younger students. The cognitive diathesis-stress moderation model only applies to depressive symptoms instead of anxiety symptoms. The cognitive diathesis-stress medication model for anxiety only applies to older students. Furthermore, the reciprocal relationship between relational victimization and depressive symptoms was also found. The results suggest that relational victimization contributes to the onset of depressive symptoms; meanwhile depressive symptoms also contribute to higher risk for later peer victimization. High self-esteem was found to protect adolescents from experiencing relational victimization and overt victimization six month later. The current study also found gender differences and transition group differences on the mean levels of the latent constructs and the relationship among those constructs. The implications for bullying prevention and intervention were discussed.^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Wang, Cixin, "A longitudinal investigation of peer victimization, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety among adolescents: A test of cognitive diathesis-stress theory" (2011). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3461361.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3461361

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