Title page for ETD etd-05092008-174227

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Papafratzeskakou, Eirini
Author's Email Address epapa06@vt.edu
URN etd-05092008-174227
Title Peer Victimization and Depression: Role of Peers and Parent-Child Relationship
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen Committee Chair
Dunsmore, Julie C. Committee Member
Scarpa-Friedman, Angela Committee Member
  • peer victimization
  • parental support
  • peer support
  • depressive symptoms
  • gender differences
Date of Defense 2008-04-28
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationships between physical and emotional peer victimization, parental and peer support and depressive symptoms. The moderating role of parental and peer support and gender differences in such moderation were the focus of the study in examining the association between peer victimization forms and depressive symptoms. Two hundred and sixty one youths (ages 10-14) completed self report measures of parental and peer support and depressive symptoms and were interviewed about their victimization experiences. Physical victimization rates were higher for boys whereas girls reported higher emotional victimization experiences and higher peer support than boys did. Correlations indicated that the experience of physical and emotional victimization by peer is linked to depressive symptoms. For boys, but not for girls, a significant moderation effect indicated that physical victimization was significantly related to depressive symptoms among youths with low peer support whereas physical victimization was not related to depressive symptoms among youths with high peer support. There were significant main effects of parental and peer support for both genders suggesting the importance of such support against depressive symptoms. The study’s findings contribute to the literature regarding peer victimization’s effects on mental health by illustrating the beneficial effect of parent and peer support during adolescence.
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