Bullying in adolescence: Impact on socioemotional and behavioral adjustment

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Published 01-07-2023
Ildefonso Álvarez Marín Alicia Pérez-Albéniz Beatriz Lucas-Molina Vanesa Martínez Valderrey Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero

Abstract

Bullying is a form of repeated aggression towards a person with the intent to harm and is based on situations of abuse of power. The main goal of this study was to analyze the association between school bullying and the socioemotional and behavioral adjustment of adolescents involved in these situations as victims or aggressors. To identify the groups under study, the European Bullying Intervention Project Questionnaire (EBIP-Q) was administered. A sample was selected using the stratified random cluster sampling technique and consisted of 1777 (54,1% women, M = 15.71 years, SD = 1.26). The dimensional model of two interrelated factors (victimization and aggression) showed a good fit to the data, as well as measurement invariance by gender. The omega coefficient of the victimization and aggression subscales was .81 and .80, respectively. Statistically significant differences were found between victim and non-victim groups, and between victims and aggressors in self-esteem, symptoms of depression, and emotional and behavioral difficulties. The victims obtained lower scores in self-esteem and higher scores in depression and emotional and behavioral difficulties than the non-victims or aggressors. Bullies reported more conduct problems than non-bullies and less prosocial behavior than bullied students. These findings corroborate the negative implications in the socioemotional and behavioral adjustment of bullying in adolescent victims and aggressors, and the adequate psychometric quality of the EBIP-Q scores as a tool for its evaluation.

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