The Impact of Peer Victimization on Internalized Behavior in Rural Boarding Schools: A Moderated Mediation Model
Peer victimization is widely recognized as a pervasive problem around the world. Its impacts on students’ behavior and mental health can be severe or may even continue into adulthood. Since students in rural boarding schools spend more time with their peers， they are more vulnerable to peer victimization. However， few studies have examined the status quo of peer victimization in rural boarding schools. Research on its impact and potential protective factors for the students is also scarce. This study investigated the peer victimization problem in rural boarding schools ， as well as its impact on students ’ internalized behavior. Furthermore ，the mediating effect of two potential protective factors ， resilience and self-esteem ， is also analyzed by conducting a moderated mediation model. A sample of 16，835 pupils (mean age =10. 09 years ， SD =0. 90) from 137 rural boarding schools in two provinces completed self-report questionnaires on peer victimization ， internalized behavior ， resilience and self-esteem. The results showed that 16. 03% of the students in those rural boarding schools reported having been bullied by their peers. The reported percentage of peer victimization in these schools is much higher than in day schools revealed in the existing literature. Although the percentage was higher in males (18. 46% ) than females (13.42%)， and higher in the 4th grade (17. 12% ) than the 5th grade (14. 75% ) ， the differences were not statistically significant. Also ， peer victimization was found to be positively associated with students ’ internalized behavior ， even after controlling for the students ’ gender ， age ， family background such as one ’ s residence type and parents ’ educational level. This indicates that students from rural boarding schools may have more serious internalized behavior problems as they were exposed to more frequent and severe bullying. Finally ， the analysis results of the moderated mediating model indicated that resilience played a partially mediating role between peer victimization and internalized behavior ， and sel-esteem moderated the relation between resilience and internalized behavior. In other words ， resilience helps to reduce the risk of incurring internalized behavior when students are bullied by their peers， and the protective effect of resilience is stronger for those with higher self-esteem. This suggests that it may be most effective to help those students establish a high self-esteem along with stronger psychological resilience ， in order for the students to have better shield against school bullying. The findings of this study are important for a better understanding of how and when peer victimization affect internalized behavior via resilience and sel-es-teems in rural boarding schools. The article concludes with some measures to reduce the school bullying in ru- ral boarding schools. It also suggests that intervention should focus on developing students ’ resilience and self-esteem， as well as the relationship between parents and children.
|關鍵詞||农村寄宿制学校、同伴侵害、校园欺凌、内化行为、心理弹性、自尊、peer victimization、rural boarding schools、campus bullying、internalized behavior、resili- ence、self-esteem|