• Does Self-Esteem, Social Anxiety and Friendship Quality Predict Online and Offline Peer Victimisation?

      Boulton, Mike; Kirkham, Rachel (University of Chester, 2017)
      The current study aimed to investigate whether self-esteem, social anxiety and friendship quality predicted online and offline peer victimisation. Previous literature highlighted that self-esteem, social anxiety and friendship quality was likely to predict offline victimisation (Boulton, Trueman, Chau, Whitehand and Amayta, 1999; Hodges Boivin Vitaro & Bukowski, 1999; Boivin & Hymel, 1997; Egan & Perry, 1998). However, there was limited and inconsistent literature around the predicting factors and online victimisation (Ybarra and Mitchel, 2004; Hinduja & Patchin, 2008; Prizant-Passal et al, 2016). Self-report questionnaires were administered in schools, to children who were 10-16 years old (N=653). 2 X multiple regressions revealed that self-esteem, social anxiety and friendship quality all collectively predicted online and offline victimisation. Therefore, 2 hierarchical regressions were carried out to see if each factor uniquely predicted each dependent variable. Findings revealed that self-esteem and social anxiety both uniquely predicted online and offline victimisation; however, friendship quality did not. The current study raises recommendations for methodological improvement. Nevertheless, the current findings contribute towards existing research as specific factors, which leave children vulnerable to peer victimisation, are highlighted. This raises awareness for teachers and parents as they can identify vulnerable children and monitor their online and offline activity. Additionally, the current study allows for future researchers to expand upon these findings, and create early interventions for children who are at risk of victimisation, which would contribute towards the prevention of peer victimisation for future generations.