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Bullying as a Stressor in Mid-Adolescent Girls and Boys–Associations with Perceived Stress, Recurrent Pain, and Salivary Cortisol
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 15, no 2, article id 364Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bullying involves repeated exposure to negative actions while also invoking a power asymmetry between the involved parties. From a stress perspective, being bullied can be seen as a severe and chronic stressor, and an everyday social-evaluative threat, coupled with a shortage of effective social resources for dealing with this particular stressor. The aim of this study was to investigate whether exposure to bullying among mid-adolescent girls and boys is associated with subjective and objective stress-related outcomes in terms of perceived stress, recurrent pain, and salivary cortisol. The data came from the School Stress and Support Study (TriSSS) including students in grades 8–9 in two schools in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010 (study sample n = 392; cortisol subsample n = 198). Bullying was self-reported and measured by multiple items. The statistical analyses included binary logistic and linear (OLS) regression. Being bullied was associated with greater perceived stress and an increased risk of recurrent pain, among both boys and girls. Also, bullied students had lower cortisol output (AUCG) and lower cortisol awakening response (CARG) as compared to those who were not bullied. Gender-stratified analyses demonstrated that these associations were statistically significant for boys but not for girls. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that being bullied was related to both subjective and objective stress markers among mid-adolescent girls and boys, pointing to the necessity of continuously working against bullying.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 15, no 2, article id 364
Keywords [en]
adolescents, bullying, cortisol, stress, victimization
National Category
Psychology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153187DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15020364ISI: 000426721400189OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153187DiVA, id: diva2:1184531
Note

Financial support came from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (2006-1637; 2015?00399) and the Clas Groschinsky Memorial Foundation (SF14 13).

Available from: 2018-02-21 Created: 2018-02-21 Last updated: 2018-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Östberg, VivecaBrolin Låftman, SaraModin, BitteLindfors, Petra
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