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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Peer victimization in college sorority and fraternity students: The impact of group identity and campus connectedness
by Michael, Julia Jacquelyn, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2015, 88; 3714726
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined peer victimization, specifically indirect peer victimization and cyber victimization, in a sample of 311 college fraternity and sorority students at a large, public university in the southwestern United States. Of specific focus was the relationship between peer victimization—both within fraternity and sorority groups and between fraternity and sorority groups and outside members—and co-occurring psychological stress (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress). The potential mediating roles of group identity and campus connectedness were also examined. This study utilized the social psychological theory of Social Identity Theory to predict the relationships between the aforementioned variables. Results indicated that a majority of college fraternity and sorority students (58%) have experienced at least one instance of indirect peer victimization since being initiated into their respective organization. Collectively, the majority of respondents reported low levels of peer victimization and high levels of group identity and campus connectedness. As hypothesized, peer victimization was significantly and positively correlated with stress. In addition, higher ratings of within-group peer victimization were related to lower ratings of group identity. However, ratings of between-group peer victimization were not significantly related to ratings of group identity, which did not support the hypothesis that there would be a significant and positive correlation between the two.

It was also found that campus connectedness mediated the relationship between peer victimization and Stress. Specifically, campus connectedness served as a protective factor from stress. Alternately, group identity did not protect against stress. Lastly, a specific subgroup of participants was identified as experiencing significantly high levels of peer victimization. Participants designated as "Victims" were significantly more likely to report ethnic minority status, be male, and be a fifth-year college student. Moreover, these students reported significantly higher levels of stress, and lower levels of group identity and campus connectedness. The implications of these findings for university and educational settings are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sulkowski, Michael L.
Commitee: Eklund, Katie R., Morris, Richard J.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: School Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Social psychology, School counseling, Educational psychology
Keywords: Campus connectedness, Group identity, Peer victimization, Social identity theory
Publication Number: 3714726
ISBN: 978-1-321-92366-7
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