Psychosocial mediators and moderators of the effect of peer-victimization upon depressive symptomatology

Simon C. Hunter, Kevin Durkin, Derek Heim, Christine Howe, Dermot Bergin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intervention strategies and developmental models of stress have been criticized for failing to integrate social psychological variables. This study investigates both self-referential cognitive mediators (perceived threat and control) and a social psychological moderator (ethnic/religious identity) of the effect of peer-victimization upon depressive symptomatology. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 924 students (46% female), aged 8 to 12 years. Experiences of discriminatory and non-discriminatory peer-victimization, threat and control appraisals, depressive symptoms, and strength of main identity were assessed. Perceived threat partially mediated the effect of peer-victimization (regardless of whether it was discriminatory or not) on depressive symptoms. Perceived control partially mediated the effect of non-discriminatory peer-victimization on depressive symptoms. Strength of ethnic/religious identity buffered the effect of peer-victimization on depressive symptoms. Victimization perceived to be discriminatory in nature was more strongly associated with depressive symptoms than non-discriminatory victimization. Findings support calls for a greater emphasis to be placed on social psychological variables in explaining depressive symptomatology. For clinical, counseling and intervention purposes, it is important to examine whether victims perceive peer-victimization as discriminatory and whether their own strength of identity affects symptomatology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1149
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume51
Issue number10
Early online date14 Sep 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • appraisal
  • depression
  • discrimination
  • peer victimization
  • social identity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial mediators and moderators of the effect of peer-victimization upon depressive symptomatology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this