Examining the link between peer victimization and adjustment problems in adolescents: The role of connectedness and parent engagement

Hillary K. Morin, Catherine P. Bradshaw, Juliette K. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Several studies have documented a range of adjustment problems experienced by peer victimized adolescents, however there has been less research exploring potential sources of support that may offset the negative impact of victimization. The current study explored the association among peer victimization, adjustment problems, connectedness, and parent engagement with the goal of identifying buffers of the associations between physical and relational victimization and adolescentsa' adjustment problems. Method: Studentsa' (N = 28,104) from 58 high schools self-reported experiences of peer victimization. Self-report measures also assessed connectedness (student connectedness, teacher connectedness), parent engagement, and adjustment problems (internalizing problems, sleep problems, stress problems). Results: Regression analyses indicated that both forms of victimization were associated with adjustment problems across all grades, genders, and races. Interpersonal connectedness was associated with fewer adjustment problems. Despite several statistically significant interactions involving victimization and connection, only 2 interactions demonstrated buffering effects. Specifically, student connectedness was found to attenuate internalizing problems among relationally victimized girls, whereas parent engagement was associated with reduced internalizing problems among relationally victimized boys. Conclusions: Study findings highlight the potential protective influences of connection and parent engagement in the transactional relationship between victimization and adjustment problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-432
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • adjustment problems
  • bullying
  • connectedness
  • protective factors
  • victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)


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