Parental stress and adolescent bullying perpetration and victimization: The mediating role of adolescent anxiety and family resilience

Saijun Zhang, Jun Sung Hong, Rachel C. Garthe, Dorothy L. Espelage, Hannah L. Schacter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although past research suggests that parental stress can heighten adolescents’ risk for bullying perpetration and victimization, the mechanisms underlying such a potential link and that may involve child psychological wellbeing remain unclear. Parental stress may heighten adolescents’ risk for bullying involvement by elevating adolescents’ anxiety and interfering with family functioning. Therefore, the current study investigated the role of adolescent anxiety and family resilience as mediators linking parental stress with adolescent bullying involvement. Sex differences in these associations were also explored. Analyses relied on data collected from 11,244 parents who participated in the 2019 National Survey of Children's Health. Parents completed surveys assessing parental stress, adolescent anxiety, family resilience, and adolescents’ involvement in bullying perpetration as well as victimization. Results from structural equation models indicated that a higher level of parental stress was related to greater bullying perpetration and victimization among both male and female adolescents. Moreover, parental stress was indirectly related to bullying victimization via elevated adolescent anxiety for both girls and boys, whereas parental stress was indirectly related to bullying perpetration via reduced family resilience for boys but not girls. The findings highlight connections between adolescents’ family and peer contexts and implicate adolescent anxiety and family resilience as putative mechanisms linking parental stress and bullying involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-291
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume290
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Family resilience
  • Parental stress
  • Sex differences
  • Victimization

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