5 years ago

Peer Victimization among Classmates-Associations with Students' Internalizing Problems, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction.

Låftman, Modin
Bullying is a major problem in schools and a large number of studies have demonstrated that victims have a high excess risk of poor mental health. It may however also affect those who are not directly victimized by peers. The present study investigates whether peer victimization among classmates is linked to internalizing problems, self-esteem, and life satisfaction at the individual level, when the student's own victimization has been taken into account. The data were derived from the first wave of the Swedish part of Youth in Europe Study (YES!), including information on 4319 students in grade 8 (14-15 years of age) distributed across 242 classes. Results from multilevel analyses show a significant association between classes with a high proportion of students being victimized and higher levels of internalizing problems, lower self-esteem, and lower life satisfaction at the student level. This association holds when the student's own victimization has been taken into account. This suggests that peer victimization negatively affects those who are directly exposed, as well as their classmates. We conclude that efficient methods and interventions to reduce bullying in school are likely to benefit not only those who are victimized, but all students.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101218

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14101218

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