BALTIMORE — Youth who experienced multiple types of bullying were more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors than those who experienced only one type of bullying, according to data presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting.
“With the widespread use of cell phones and the Internet, many adolescents may now experience cyber-victimization in addition to face-to-face victimization,” Alexandra Hua, a graduate student at Yale University, and colleagues wrote. “Recent research has shown that victims of peer aggression are themselves at greater risk for victimizing others. There has been limited research examining the many forms of victimization (alone and together) and their association with various types of aggressive behavior.”
To assess associations between cyber-victimization and in-person victimization with aggressive behavior, researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2014 National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence III for 1,959 youth aged 10 to 17 years. Cyber-victimization was defined as being harassed via cell phone or Internet. In-person victimization was defined by Juvenile Questionnaire items regarding verbal/relational aggression, physical assault/intimidation and property victimization. Aggressive behaviors included verbal aggression, physical fighting, damaging property and coercing peers.
Overall, 43% of the cohort reported at least one form of in-person victimization and 6.7% reported at least one form of cyber-victimization.
Youth who were victimized in either capacity were more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors. However, youth who experienced both types of victimization (3%) were more than two times as likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors, compared with youth who experienced one type of victimization.
Aggressive behavior was shown in 38% of youth who experienced both types of victimization, compared with 15% of those who experienced cyber-victimization and 4% of those who experienced in-person victimization.
“Students who are victimized are morel likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors towards others. This phenomenon may lead to a vicious cycle whereby bullies create bullies out of those they victimization,” Hua said in a press release. – by Amanda Oldt
Hua A, et al. Increased risk of aggressive behavior among victims of multiple forms of bullying. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting; April 30-May 3, 2016; Baltimore.
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