Resiliency in Young Adulthood and Associations among Retrospective Peer Victimization and Internalizing Problems

Abstract

The social-ecological diathesis-stress model and related empirical work suggests that individuals who experienced peer victimization in childhood are at risk of revictimization and internalizing problems in young adulthood. The current study examined the association between retrospective and current reports of traditional and cyber victimization and internalizing problems, and the buffering effect of resiliency among 1141 young adults. Results indicated that retrospective traditional victimization was positively associated with current traditional and cyber victimization. Retrospective cyber victimization, however, was positively associated with current cyber victimization only. Retrospective traditional and cyber victimization were positively associated with internalizing problems while controlling for current victimization for both males and females. Resiliency buffered the positive association between retrospective cyber victimization, but not traditional victimization, and current internalizing problems. Findings suggest that retrospective accounts of peer victimization may have a lasting impact on symptoms of depression and anxiety for young adults, regardless of current victimization experiences. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine the associations among revictimization and mental health, and potential buffering mechanisms, among young adults.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Abela, J., & Hankin, B. L. (2008). Cognitive vulnerability to depression in children and adolescents: A developmental psychopathology perspective. In J.R. Abela & B.L. Hankin (Eds.), Handbook of Depression in Children and Adolescents (pp. 35–78). Guilford Press.

  2. Adams, F. D., & Lawrence, G. T. (2011). Bullying victims: The effects last into college. American Secondary Education, 40, 4–13.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Routledge Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Corby, E., Campbell, M. A., Spears, B., Slee, P., Butler, D., & Kift, S. (2014). Students’ perceptions of their own victimization: A youth voice perspective. Journal of School Violence, 15, 322–342. https://doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2014.996719.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Barzilay, S., Klomek, A. B., Apter, A., Carli, V., Wasserman, C., Hadlaczky, G., et al. (2017). Bullying victimization and suicide ideation and behavior among adolescents in Europe: A 10-country study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61, 179–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.02.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Espelage, D. L., & Holt, M. (2001). Bullying and victimization during early adolescence: Peer influences and psychosocial correlates. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 2, 123–142. https://doi.org/10.1300/J135v02n02_08.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Espelage, D. L., Hong, J. S., & Mebane, S. (2016). Recollections of childhood bullying and multiple forms of victimization: Correlates with psychological functioning among college students. Social Psychology of Education, 19, 715–728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-016-9352-z.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Espelage, D. L., Low, S. K., & Jimerson, S. R. (2014). Understanding school climate, aggression, peer victimization, and bully perpetration: Contemporary science, practice, and policy. School Psychology Quarterly, 29, 233–237. https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000090.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Felix, E. D., Holt, M. K., Nylund-Gibson, K., Grimm, R. P., Espelage, D. L., & Green, J. G. (2019). Associations between childhood peer victimization and aggression and subsequent victimization and aggression at college. Psychology of Violence, 9, 451–460. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000193.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Forbes, S., & Fikretoglu, D. (2018). Building resilience: The conceptual basis and research evidence for resilience training programs. Review of General Psychology, 22, 452–468. https://doi.org/10.1037/gpr0000152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Fredrick, S. S., & Demaray, M. K. (2018). Peer victimization and suicidal ideation: The role of gender and depression in a school-based sample. Journal of School Psychology, 67, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2018.02.001.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Gladden, R. M., Vivolo-Kantor, A. M., Hamburger, M. E., & Lumpkin, C. D. (2014). Bullying surveillance among youth: Uniform definitions for public health and recommended data elements, version 1.0. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Education.

  14. Hardt, J., & Rutter, M. (2004). Validity of adult retrospective reports of adverse childhood experiences: Review of the evidence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 260–273. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00218.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 227–239. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466505X29657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Hill, R. M., Mellick, W., Temple, J. R., & Sharp, C. (2017). The role of bullying in depressive symptoms from adolescence to emerging adulthood: A growth mixture model. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.09.007.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2017). Cultivating youth resilience to prevent bullying and cyberbullying victimization. Child Abuse & Neglect, 73, 51–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.09.010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2015). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Hooper, D., Coughlan, J., & Mullen, M. (2008). Structural equation modelling: Guidelines for determining model fit. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 6, 53–60. https://doi.org/10.21427/D7CF7R.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Huang, F. L., & Cornell, D. G. (2019). School teasing and bullying after the presidential election. Educational Researcher, 48, 69–83. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X18820291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Iyer-Eimerbrink, P. A., Scielzo, S. A., & Jensen-Campbell, L. A. (2015). The impact of social and relational victimization on depression, anxiety, and loneliness: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Bullying and Social Aggression, 1, 1–22 Available at http://sites.tamuc.edu/bullyingjournal/the-impact-of-peer-victimization/.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Kann, L., MacManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., Queen, B., . . . Ethier, K. A. (2018). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2017. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2017/ss6708.pdf

  23. Lazarus, R. S. (1993). From psychological stress to the emotions: A history of changing outlooks. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.44.1.1.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Lereya, S. T., Copeland, W. E., Costello, E. J., & Wolke, D. (2015). Adult mental health consequences of peer bullying and maltreatment in childhood: Two cohorts in two countries. Lancet Psychiatry, 2, 524–531. https://doi.org/10.1016/52215-0266(15)00165-0.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543–562. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00164.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  26. Mitchell, K. J., Jones, L. M., Turner, H. A., Shattuck, A., & Wolak, J. (2016). The role of technology in peer harassment: Does it amplify harm for youth? Psychology of Violence, 6, 193–204. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Modecki, K. L., Minchin, J., Harbaugh, A. G., Guerra, N. G., & Runions, K. C. (2014). Bullying prevalence across contexts: A meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55, 602–611. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adohealth.2014.06.007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Moore, S. E., Norman, R. E., Suetani, S., Thomas, H. J., Sly, P. D., & Scott, J. G. (2017). Consequences of bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. World Journal of Psychiatry, 7, 60–76. https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v7.i1.60.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. Mulvey, K. L., Hoffman, A. J., Gönültaş, S., Hope, E. C., & Cooper, S. M. (2018). Understanding experiences with bullying and bias-based bullying: What matters and for whom? Psychology of Violence, 8(6), 702–711. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2019). Mplus User's Guide (Seventh ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.

  31. Olweus, D., & Limber, S. P. (2018). Some problems with cyberbullying research. Current Opinion in Psychology, 19, 139–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.04.012.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Page, A. C., Hooke, G. R., & Morrison, D. L. (2007). Psychometric properties of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) in depressed clinical samples. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 283–297. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466506X158996.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Reid, G. M., Holt, M. K., Bowman, C. E., Espelage, D. L., & Green, J. G. (2016). Perceived social support and mental health among first-year college students with histories of bullying victimization. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 3331–3341. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0477-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Rivers, I. (2001). Retrospective reports of school bullying: Stability of recall and its implications for research. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 19, 129–142. https://doi.org/10.1348/026151001166001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Russell, S. T., Sinclair, K. O., Poteat, V. P., & Koenig, B. W. (2012). Adolescent health and harassment based on discriminatory bias. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 493–495. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300430.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. Satorra, A., & Bentler, P. M. (2001). A scale difference chi-square test statistic for moment structure analysis. Psychometrika, 66, 507–514. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02296192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Schenk, A. M., & Fremouw, W. J. (2012). Prevalence, psychological impact, and coping of cyberbully victims among college students. Journal of School Violence, 11, 21–37. https://doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2011.630310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Schneider, S. K., O’Donnell, L., & Smith, E. (2015). Trends in cyberbullying and school bullying victimization in a regional census of high school students, 2006-2012. Journal of School Health, 85, 611–620. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Selkie, E. M., Kota, R., Chan, Y., & Moreno, M. (2015). Cyberbullying, depression, and problem alcohol use in female college students: A multisite study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 18, 79–86. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2014.0371.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  40. Smith, B. W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P., & Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: Assessing the ability to bounce back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 15, 194–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705500802222972.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Swearer, S. M., & Hymel, S. (2015). Understanding the psychology of bullying: Moving toward a social-ecological diathesis-stress model. American Psychologist, 70, 344–353. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038929.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Tennant, J. E., Demaray, M. K., Coyle, S., & Malecki, C. K. (2015). The dangers of the web. Cybervictimization, depression, and social support in college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 348–357. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.04.014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Troop-Gordon, W. (2017). Peer victimization in adolescence: The nature, progression, and consequences of being bullied within a developmental context. Journal of Adolescence, 55, 116–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.012.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Tucker, C. J., Finkelhor, D., & Turner, H. (2020). Family predictors of sibling versus peer victimization. Journal of Family Psychology, 34, 186–195. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000592.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Víllora, B., Larrañaga, E., Yubero, S., Alfaro, A., & Navarro, R. (2020). Relations among poly-bullying victimization, subjective well-being and resilience in a sample of late adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 590–602. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020590.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  46. Zhu, J., Yu, C., Zhang, W., Bao, Z., Jiang, Y., Chen, Y., & Zhen, S. (2017). Peer victimization, deviant peer affiliation and impulsivity: Predicting adolescent problem behaviors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 58, 39–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.06.008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stephanie S. Fredrick.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fredrick, S.S., Jenkins, L.N. & Dexter, C.M. Resiliency in Young Adulthood and Associations among Retrospective Peer Victimization and Internalizing Problems. Journ Child Adol Trauma (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-021-00342-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Traditional victimization
  • Cyber victimization
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Resiliency