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Associations between past bullying experiences and psychosocial and academic functioning among college students.

  • Author(s): Holt, Melissa K;
  • Greif Green, Jennifer;
  • Reid, Gerald;
  • DiMeo, Amanda;
  • Espelage, Dorothy L;
  • Felix, Erika D;
  • Furlong, Michael J;
  • Poteat, V Paul;
  • Sharkey, Jill D
  • et al.
Abstract

Objectives

This study examined whether childhood bullying victimization was associated with psychosocial and academic functioning at college.

Participants

The sample consisted of 413 first-year students from a large northeastern university.

Methods

Students completed an online survey in February 2012 that included items assessing past bullying involvement, current psychosocial and academic functioning, and victimization experiences since arriving at college.

Results

Regression analyses indicated that reports of past bullying and other peer victimization were associated with lower mental health functioning and perceptions of physical and mental health, but were not associated with perceptions of social life at college, overall college experience, or academic performance.

Conclusions

Childhood bullying victimization is associated with poorer mental and physical health among first-year college students. Colleges should consider assessing histories of bullying victimization, along with other past victimization exposures, in their service provision to students.

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