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The Impact of Keeping the Victimization to Bullying Secret from Parents

By M.J.C. Hendriks and D. van Haagen


This study investigated whether the psychosocial impact of being bullied increases, when the victimization to bullying is held secret from parents. The participants consisted of 162 high school students – from various areas in the Netherlands – who completed an online questionnaire. As was hypothesized, keeping the victimization to bullying secret from parents significantly increased the psychosocial impact of being bullied for both genders. The hypothesis that girls kept significantly more secrets about being bullied towards their parents than did boys was also confirmed. Any differences regarding secrets between the different types of bullying could not be confirmed due to scale level limitations. However, it was confirmed that being bullied and keeping secrets about being bullied were significantly correlated. This study shows the importance of integrating secrets into future research, because secrets can have a significant effect on the impact of stressful events, as was described by the Ironic Process Theory. This study also shows the importance of keeping an open parent-child communication regarding bullying to prevent further psychosocial risks

Topics: Secrets; bullying; psychosocial problems; Ironic Process Theory; parents
Year: 2014
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