Date of Award

8-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Cashel, Mary Louise

Abstract

The current study examined the relation between symptoms of PTSD and depression with bullying victimization. Bullying victimization is a highly prevalent phenomenon that nearly half of all students experience (Gan, Zhong, Das, Gan, Willis, & Tully, 2014). Rates of bullying follow a linear trend through elementary grades, and plateau or peak in middle school (Atria, Strohmeier, & Spiel, 2007; Hoover, Oliver, Hazler, 1992; Nansel et al., 2001). Bullying increases a student’s likelihood to experience a range of emotional and behavioral disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), suggesting that bullying is a distressing life event for children. Yet only a small number of studies have provided evidence for the relation between bullying and symptoms of PTSD. This study sought to add support to a growing body of literature evaluating associations between these two variables, while also exploring possible moderators. Results suggested a significant relations among symptoms of PTSD, depression, andbullying victimization. This study identified several other significantly related variables, such as social support and gender, but failed to identify significant moderating variables between symptoms of PTSD and bullying victimization. This study also provided evidence for the relation between witnessing bullying and negative emotional reactions. The results, clinical implications, and limitations of this study are discussed.

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