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Associations between adults' recalled childhood bullying victimization, current social anxiety, coping, and self-blame: evidence for moderation and indirect effects

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Prior studies have shown that bullying victimization is common during childhood and may have negative effects over the short term. Evidence is also emerging that childhood bullying victimization in the form of teasing may precipitate social anxiety in adulthood. The present study extended the field by testing for associations between adults' recall of four common subtypes of childhood bullying victimization and their current social anxiety. It also provided the first test of whether coping moderated those associations, if they were indirect effects through self-blame, and if sex differences existed. Data were collected from 582 students aged 23+ years at two universities in the UK. Collectively, and for social exclusion and relational victimization uniquely, the subtypes of bullying victimization did predict social anxiety. Evidence for hypothesized moderation and indirect effects was obtained but these varied by subtype of victimization (but not sex). The theoretical and practical implications of these results were discussed.

Keywords: bullying; children; coping; social anxiety; victimization

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychology,University of Chester, Parkgate RoadChester,CH1 4BJ, UK

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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