The role of cognitive appraisals in the relationship between peer-victimisation and adjustment: a longitudinal study

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Introduction: Peer-victimisation is a frequent experience for many adolescents, and is related to poor adjustment in the short- and long-term (e.g. Reijntjes et al., 2010, 2011). Evidence suggests that primary appraisals (e.g. the evaluation of the event as controllable, feeling threatened) and secondary appraisals (e.g. perceived social support) may play a role in the relationship between peer victimization and adjustment (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Noret, Hunter, & Rasmussen, 2018). Research to date has tended to test primary and secondary appraisals separately, employing cross-sectional designs. Therefore, the aim of this study is to test whether primary appraisals mediate, and secondary appraisals moderate, the longitudinal relationship between peer-victimisation and depressive symptomology. Methods:Data are being collected over three time points during Autumn of the academic year 2018-19 from pupils aged 11 to 14 years. A questionnaire assesses: experiences of peer-victimisation, cognitive appraisals of threat, control, challenge, blame and perceived social support, and depressive symptomology. Result:Data will be analysed according to a pre-registered data analysis plan, using a cross-lagged panel analysis. Cross-lagged relationships between peer-victimisation and depressive symptomology will be reported, alongside any mediating role for primary appraisals and any moderating role of perceived social support. Discussion:The findings of the study will be discussed in the context of the Transactional Model of Stress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Implications for our understanding of the relationship between peer-victimisation and depressive symptomology will be discussed, alongside implications for intervention programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
EventWorld Anti-Bullying Forum 2019 - Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 4 Jun 20196 Jun 2019


ConferenceWorld Anti-Bullying Forum 2019
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  • appraisal
  • bullying
  • peer-victimisation
  • peer-victimization
  • social support
  • depression

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