Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 115–131 | Cite as

Frequency, Power Differential, and Intentionality and the Relationship to Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Esteem for Victims of Bullying

  • Christine Kerres Malecki
  • Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray
  • Samantha Coyle
  • Raymond GeoslingEmail author
  • Sandra Yu Rueger
  • Lisa Davidson Becker
Original Paper



Bullying behavior is related to higher levels of internalizing distress and can be defined as including three aspects: frequency, intentionality, and power differential. However, bullying behavior is most often measured using only one aspect: frequency.


The current study investigated the relative importance of several important constructs associated with bullying and their relations to social-emotional outcomes. Specifically, three aspects of bullying behavior were assessed: frequency, intentionality, and power differential.


The relations between these aspects of victims of bullying and social-emotional outcomes were investigated in a sample of 612 7th and 8th grade students in a large suburban middle school.


Results showed that power differential and intentionality meaningfully contributed to anxiety, depression, and self-esteem over and above frequency.


Our findings demonstrate strong support for the utility of assessing power differential and intentionality along with frequency of victimization experiences, as there was predictive power in intentionality and power differential above and beyond frequency in relation to concurrent levels of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.


Bullying Victimization Power Intention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Kerres Malecki
    • 1
  • Michelle Kilpatrick Demaray
    • 1
  • Samantha Coyle
    • 1
  • Raymond Geosling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandra Yu Rueger
    • 2
  • Lisa Davidson Becker
    • 3
  1. 1.Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Wheaton CollegeWheatonUSA
  3. 3.DeKalb Community Unit School District #428DeKalbUSA

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