Gender Differences in the Impact of Experiencing Bullying: Who's Worse Off?

Maggie Ledwell, Pennsylvania State University
Valarie King, Pennsylvania State University

During adolescence, interactions with peers are considered to be of increasing importance. Adverse peer relations may negatively affect adolescent well-being and adjustment, with potentially long-term influences on adult well-being (Olweus, 1992). Research indicates that experiencing bullying in school is associated with poorer psychosocial well-being among adolescents (Boulton & Hawker 2000). There is also some suggestion that the form of bullying commonly experienced by adolescents varies by gender (Wang et al 2009). Yet little work has looked at how the unique bullying experiences of adolescent males and females may differentially affect their well-being. The current study statistically tests for gender differences in the experience and impact of bullying on adolescent psychosocial adjustment using a nationally representative sample of US students in grades 6 through 10, the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey (HBSC). Findings suggest that experiencing bullying has a stronger negative impact on the psychosocial adjustment of adolescent females.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1