Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology



First Advisor

Alan M. Gross

Second Advisor

Kirsten Dellinger

Third Advisor

Kelly G. Wilson

Relational Format



The purpose of this investigation was to examine the experience of peer victimization through the lens of an integrative model of individual (gender, ethnicity, grade level) and social (receipt of prosocial support from peers, peer victimization) risk and protective factors in terms of association with psychopathology. The examination was conducted in a rural sample of elementary school children of multiple ethnicities. Results suggest that both overt and relational forms of peer victimization predicted social anxiety, depression, OCD, GAD, panic, and separation anxiety and loneliness symptoms with moderate effect sizes. No differences in either overt or relational victimization were found among ethnic groups; however, Caucasian children reported significantly more prosocial support from peers than African Americans and children of other ethnic groups. Differences in levels of reported victimization were found among the children of different grade levels. Prosocial support moderated the relationship between overt victimization and emotional distress, but not significant effects for relational victimization, and grade level moderated the relationships between overt victimization and distress such that the relationship was somewhat stronger for older children than younger children.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology



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