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Assessing the Impact of Harassment by Peers: Incident Characteristics and Outcomes in a National Sample of Youth

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 16 Issue: 1 Dated: 2017 Pages: 1-24
Date Published
24 pages
Since few studies have empirically assessed the characteristics of peer bullying that most affect its impact, the study reported in this article addressed this research gap by using a nationally representative U.S. sample of youth ages 10-20 to examine the relative effects of a variety of potentially aggravating incident characteristics on emotional, physical health, and school-related outcomes.
Study findings provide support for power imbalance and duration (a stronger predictor than repetition) as incident characteristics that exacerbate the negative impact of peer harassment; however, several other incident characteristics have substantial effects with or without the presence of these qualities. Injury, sexual content, involvement of multiple perpetrators, and hate/bias components of peer harassment incidents each increased at least one negative outcome. Findings point to several features of peer harassment that can provide a basis for prioritizing victimization experiences in greatest need of intervention efforts. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017