This study investigated why some adolescents who are victimized through peer bullying are more negatively impacted than others. Drawing from research on peer victimization and suicidology, two theoretically derived models were investigated, one examining social hopelessness as a risk factor, the other examining social support as a protective factor, both seeking to explain potential paths between victimization and suicidal ideation. Students in Grades 8–10 (N = 399) completed self-report measures of victimization, suicidal ideation, hopelessness (general and social), and perceived social support (from family and friends). Results indicated that social hopelessness partially mediated the relation between victimization and suicidal ideation, suggesting that one potential mechanism by which victimized students become suicidal is through victimization's impact on social hopelessness. The more socially hopeless someone becomes, the greater is their risk for having suicidal thoughts. Findings also revealed that perceived social support buffered the relation between victimization and suicidal ideation, such that victimized students with higher perceived social support from family reported lower levels of suicidal ideation than did students with lower perceived social support.


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pp. 420-440
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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