Differentiating youth who are bullied from other victims of peer-aggression: the importance of differential power and repetition.J Adolesc Health 2014; 55(2):293-300JA
To examine whether (1) among youth who report being bullied, differential power and repetition are useful in identifying youth who are more or less affected by the victimization experience and (2) bullying and more generalized peer aggression are distinct or overlapping constructs.
Data for the Teen Health and Technology study were collected online between August 2010 and January 2011 from 3,989 13- to 18-year-olds. Data from the Growing up with Media study (Wave 3) were collected online in 2008 from 1,157 12- to 17-year-olds.
In the Teen Health and Technology study, youth who reported neither differential power nor repetition had the lowest rates of interference with daily functioning. Youth who reported either differential power or repetition had higher rates, but the highest rates of interference with daily functioning were observed among youth who reported both differential power and repetition. In the Growing up with Media study, youth were victims of online generalized peer aggression (30%) or both online generalized peer aggression and cyberbullying (16%) but rarely cyberbullying alone (1%).
Both differential power and repetition are key in identifying youth who are bullied and at particular risk for concurrent psychosocial challenge. Each feature needs to be measured directly. Generalized peer aggression appears to be a broader form of violence compared with bullying. It needs to be recognized that youth who are victimized but do not meet the criteria of bullying have elevated rates of problems. They are an important, albeit nonbullied, group of victimized youth to be included in research.