School-aged Bullying Experience and Relation to Interpersonal Relationships of College Students and the Moderating Role of Hardiness

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Rodger Narloch, Psychology


The primary objective of this study was to investigate the possible correlation between bullying history and the quality of current interpersonal relationships in college students. One hundred and seventy college students completed surveys concerning both friendships and romantic relationships. I collected these data to assess retrospective perception of bullying experiences from childhood through the present, hardiness, and aspects of friendships and romantic relationships on the dimensions of trust, relationship quality, and shyness. A statistically significant, negative correlation was found between reported bullying experience and both friendship quality and trust, indicating that as victimization levels increase, current satisfaction and trust in friendships deceased. A significant, positive relationship was also found between victimization history and shyness, indicating that as reported victimization increased current levels of shyness also increased. These findings conflict with those reported by Olweus (1993). Hardiness was not found to significantly moderate the relationship between any of the variables investigated. Consistent with the findings of Pelligrini and Long (2000), reported victimization increased from elementary to middle school and then decreased in high school and through college. Finally, gender differences were found in the types of reported victimization experienced, with males reporting more physical and verbal victimization.