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Bullying Others: The Influence of Callous-Unemotional Traits, Depressive Symptoms, and Social Acceptance

Alia G Noetzel, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this dissertation study was to examine the interaction between callous-unemotional (CU) traits, depressive symptoms, social acceptance, social and emotional maladjustment, and bullying victimization in a sample of bully perpetrators. CU traits are linked to aggression, antisocial behavior, and bullying perpetration and have been found to be inversely related to internalizing problems such as fearfulness and guilt. The association between CU traits and depressive symptoms is not well-understood in the general population, nor among youth involved in bullying. This dissertation study examined the link between CU traits and depressive symptoms in a sample of bully perpetrators and assessed how the experience of bullying victimization and perceived social acceptance influences this relationship. Data were collected from students who participated in a larger research study designed to address bullying involvement through an assessment-driven intervention. Data analytic strategies including multiple regression, correlation, and independent samples t-tests were used to address significant differences between constructs. The results from this dissertation study further illuminate the complex affective, behavioral, and social experiences that accompany involvement in bullying.

Subject Area

Psychology|Mental health|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Noetzel, Alia G, "Bullying Others: The Influence of Callous-Unemotional Traits, Depressive Symptoms, and Social Acceptance" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI29257060.