Examining the Prevalence and Impact of Peer Victimization and Social Support for Rural Youth

Jaymi N. Russo, Emily R. Griese, Valerie J. Bares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Peer victimization is a common experience in early adolescence often associated with psychosocial issues, following some youth into adulthood. Preliminary findings from a longitudinal study on peer victimization and protective factors were measured in rural elementary youth. Bullying is often seen as a schoolonly issue but research findings suggest the importance of systems outside the school setting as important protective factors for intervention. METHODS: Preliminary data were collected through online questionnaires focused on direct, relational, and electronic victimization. Protective factors, including parent and community support, were also measured. Participants include 307 children (52.8 percent female; 80.4 percent White; mean age = 10) attending the fourth and fifth grade at four rural, South Dakota public school districts. RESULTS: Overall, 91.2 percent of the sample reported at least one peer victimization experience during the first wave of data collection. Traditional victimization results include 57.7 percent citing direct and 89.5 percent relational. Electronic victimization was 25.3 percent. Participants reported high levels of community (94.8 percent) and parent (68.3 percent) support. Community support was significantly, negatively correlated with all types of victimization but parent support was only significant in relation to direct victimization. CONCLUSIONS: Findings provide an important baseline of the prevalence of direct, relational, and electronic victimization among rural young adolescents and the importance of community and parent support. Results demonstrate the need for a community wide approach including, health care providers, to take an active role to prevent and assist affected youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-451
Number of pages4
JournalSouth Dakota medicine : the journal of the South Dakota State Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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