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Bullying victimization in adolescence is a significant social problem that can become persistent over time for some victims. However, there is an overall paucity of research examining the factors that contribute to continued bullying victimization. Schema therapy proposes a model that can help us understand why bullying victimization can be persistent for some victims. This study examines the role of maladaptive schemas, the key concept in schema therapy, as a mechanism of continued bullying victimization. The hypothesis was that maladaptive schemas of rejection mediate the predictive association between victimization in both the family and at school and future bullying victimization. Social anxiety was also considered, as previous research suggests that it can increase the risk of victimization. The participants were 1328 adolescents (45% female) with a mean age of 15.05 years (SD = 1.37), who completed questionnaires at three time points with a 6-month interval between them. Time 2 maladaptive schemas of rejection significantly mediated the predictive association from Time 1 bullying victimization, family abuse and social anxiety to Time 3 bullying victimization. The findings pertaining to potentially malleable factors, such as maladaptive schemas that maintain continued interpersonal victimization, have important implications for prevention and treatment strategies with adolescents.
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- Continued Bullying Victimization in Adolescents: Maladaptive Schemas as a Mediational Mechanism
Joaquín M. González-Cabrera
- Springer US