Resilience to bullying victimization: The role of individual, family and peer characteristics

Maria Sapouna, Dieter Wolke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)


Little research attention has been paid to bullied students who function better than expected and are therefore defined as "resilient". The present longitudinal study aimed to identify individual, family and peer factors that predict fewer than expected levels of depression and delinquency following experiences of bullying victimization. The sample consisted 3,136 adolescents. Self-report data were used to measure bullying victimization at age 13 and 14 and depression and delinquency at age 14. We examined the effects of gender, self-esteem, social alienation, parental conflict, sibling victimization and number of close friends on levels of emotional and behavioral resilience following bullying victimization. The resilience measures were derived by regressing depression and delinquency scores at age 14 on levels of bullying victimization at age 13 and 14, respectively. The adolescents who reported low depression despite frequently experiencing bullying tended to be male, had higher self-esteem, were feeling less socially alienated, were experiencing low levels of conflict with parents and were not victimized by siblings. On the other hand, the adolescents who reported low delinquency despite frequently experiencing bullying tended to be female, had higher self-esteem, were experiencing low levels of conflict with parents, were not victimized by siblings and had less close friends. Relationships with parents and siblings continue to play some role in promoting emotional and behavioral adjustment among victims of bullying and, therefore, interventions are more likely to be successful if they target both the psychosocial skills of adolescents and their relationships with their family.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1006
JournalChild Abuse & Neglect
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Bullying
  • Victimization
  • Resilience
  • Parents
  • Peers
  • Individual differences

Cite this