Feeling support from the community is a vital aspect of adolescents’ quality of life. Negative experiences at school, such as bullying and cyberbullying can have an adverse impact on adolescents’ life satisfaction that can expand to different domains of their lives including community variables. The goal of the present study was to examine the association between peer victimization, life satisfaction and community support among Chilean adolescents. We used a sample of 497 youths enrolled in grades 9 to 12 of public and private schools in different Chilean districts. Results indicate a negative association between bullying and cyberbullying behavior on community support through life satisfaction. Peer victimization can have negative consequences for youths at a personal level on their assessments of life satisfaction, which can expand to feeling less support from the community. Feeling less support from the community can be detrimental to healthy youth development and adolescents’ quality of life. Community prevention efforts can thus provide emotional support for youth victims of bullying and cyberbullying.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Alfaro Inzunza, J., Guzmán Piña, J., García Gómez, C., Sirlopú Díaz, D., Oyanedel Sepúlveda, J. C., & Gaudlitz Ruiz, L. (2014). Propiedades psicométricas de la escala Breve Multidimensional de Satisfacción con la Vida para Estudiantes (BMSLSS) en población infantil chilena (10 – 12 años). Universitas Psychologica, 14(1), 29–42.
Baker J.A. & Maupin, A.N. (2009). School satisfaction and children’s positive school adjustment. En R. Gilman, E.S. Huebner & M.J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology in the schools (pp. 189–196). New York: Routledge.
Bauman, S., Cross, D., & Walker, J. L. (Eds.). (2013). Principles of cyberbullying research: Definitions, measures and methodology. New York: Routledge.
Ben-Arieh, A. (2008). The child indicators movement: Past, present, and future. Child Indicators Research, 1(1), 3–16.
Berger, C., & Caravita, S. C. S. (2016). Why do early adolescents bully? Exploring the influence of prestige norms on social and psychological motives to bully. Journal of Adolescence, 46, 45–56.
Berger, C., Rodkin, P. C. & Karimpour, R. (2008). Bullies and victims at school: Perspectives and strategies for primary prevention. En T. Miller (Ed.), School violence and primary prevention (pp. 295–322). New York: Springer-Verlag.
Bilić, V., Flander, G., & Rafajac, B. (2014). Life satisfaction and school performance of children exposed to classic and cyber peer bullying. Collegium Antropologicum, 38(1), 21–29.
Bond, L., Carlin, J. B., Thomas, L., Rubin, K., & Patton, G. (2001). Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 32, 480–484.
Bowes, L., Arseneault, L., Maughan, B., Taylor, A., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2009). School, neighborhood, and family factors are associated with children’s bullying involvement: A nationally representative longitudinal study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(5), 545–553.
Buelga, S., Musitu, G., Murgui, S., & Pons, J. (2008). Reputation and aggressive behavior in adolescence. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 11, 192–200.
Casas, F. (2010). El bienestar personal: Su investigación en la infancia y la adolescencia. Encuentros en Psicología Social, 5(1), 85–101.
Castellá, J., Saforcada, E., Tonon, G., Rodríguez de la Vega, L., Mozobancyk, S., & Bedin, L. M. (2012). Bienestar Subjetivo de los Adolescentes: Un studio comparativo entre Argentiba y Brasil. Psychological Intervention, 21(3), 273–280.
Chang, F. C., Lee, C. M., Chiu, C. H., Hsi, W. Y., Huang, T. F., & Pan, Y. C. (2013). Relationships Among Cyberbullying, School Bullying, and Mental Health in Taiwanese Adolescents. Journal of School Health, 83(6), 454-462.
Chester, K. L., Callaghan, M., Cosma, A., Donnelly, P., Craig, W., Walsh, S., & Molcho, M. (2015). Cross-national time trends in bullying victimization in 33 countries among children aged 11, 13 and 15 from 2002 to 2010. The European Journal of Public Health, 25(2), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckv029
Chile, Ministerio del Interior. (2016). Encuesta Nacional de Violencia en el Ámbito Escolar (ENVAE) 2014. Santiago: Autor. Retrieved from http://www.seguridadpublica.gov.cl/media/2016/11/Presentaci%C3%B3n-ENVAE.pdf
Chile, Ministerio del Interior & Adimark. (2009). III Encuesta Nacional de Violencia en el Ámbito Escolar 2009. Santiago: Autores. Retrieved from http://www.seguridadpublica.gov.cl/filesapp/presentacion_violencia_escolar_2009_web.pdf
Cicognani, E., Albanesi, C., & Zani, B. (2008). The impact of residential context on adolescents' subjective well-being. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 18(6), 558–575.
Cicognani, E., Mazzoni, D., Albanesi, C., & Zani, B. (2014). Sense of community and empowerment among young people: Understanding pathways from civic participation to social well-being. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(1), 24–44.
Cohen, S., Gottlieb, B. H., & Underwood, L. G. (2000). Social relationships and health. En S. Cohen, L. G. Underwood & B. H. Gottlieb (Eds.), Social support measurement and intervention: A guide for health and social scientists (pp. 3–25). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Craig, W., Harel-Fisch, Y., Fogel-Grinvald, H., Dostaler, S., Hetland, J., Simons-Morton, B., et al. (2009). A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries. International Journal of Public Health, 54(Suppl 2), 216–224.
Davidson, W. B., & Cotter, P. R. (1991). The relationship between sense of community and subjective well-being: A first look. Journal of Community Psychology, 19(3), 246–253.
Delgado, A. O., Suárez, L. A., Campos, R. M. E., & García, D. M. P. (2012). Activos del Barrio y Ajuste Adolescente. Psychosocial Intervention, 21(1), 17–27.
Dex, S., & Hollingworth, K. (2012). Children’s and young people’s voices on their wellbeing. Retrieved from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education. gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Children’s%20voices%20on%20wellbeing.pdf.
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302.
Elgar, F. J., Pickett, K. E., Pickett, W., Craig, W., Molcho, M., Hurrelmann, K., & Lenzi, M. (2013). School bullying, homicide and income inequality: A cross-national pooled time series analysis. International Journal of Public Health, 58(2), 237–245.
Elvas, S., & Moniz, M. J. V. (2010). Sentimento de comunidade, qualidade e satisfação de vida. Análise Psicológica, 28(3), 451–464.
Espelage, D. L. (2014). Ecological theory: Preventing youth bullying, aggression, and victimization. Theory Into Practice, 53(4), 257–264.
Espelage, D. L., Bosworth, K., & Simon, T. R. (2000). Examining the social context of bullying behaviors in early adolescence. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78(3), 326–333.
Espelage, D. L., & Holt, M. K. (2001). Bullying and victimization during early adolescence: Peer influences and psychosocial correlates. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 2, 123–142.
Espelage, D. L., Holt, M. K., & Henkel, R. R. (2003). Examination of peer-group contextual effects on aggression during early adolescence. Child Development, 74(1), 205–220.
Farrell, S. J., Aubry, T., & Coulombe, D. (2004). Neighborhoods and neighbors: Do they contribute to personal well-being? Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 9–25.
Fattore, T., Mason, J., & Watson, E. (2012). Locating the child centrally as subject in research: Towards a child interpretation of well-being. Child Indicators Research, 5(3), 423–435.
Felix, E. D., Furlong, M. J., & Austin, G. (2009). A cluster analytic investigation of school violence victimization among diverse students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(10), 1673–1695.
Flannery, D. J., Wester, K. L., & Singer, M. I. (2004). Impact of exposure to violence in school on child and adolescent mental health and behavior. Journal of Community Psychology, 32(5), 559–573.
Flaspohler, P. D., Elfstrom, J. L., Vanderzee, K. L., Sink, H. E., & Birchmeier, Z. (2009). Stand by me: The effects of peer and teacher support in mitigating the impact of bullying on quality life. Psychology in the Schools, 46(1), 636–649.
Funk, B. A., Huebner, E. S., & Valois, R. F. (2006). Reliability and validity of a brief life satisfaction scale with a high school sample. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(1), 41–54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-005-0869-7.
García, F. J., Marande, G., Schneider, B. H., & Blanchard, C. (2014). Effects of school on the well-being of children and adolescents. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being SE – 43 (pp. 1251–1305). Netherlands: Springer.
Gilman, R., & Huebner, E. S. (2003). A review of life satisfaction research with children and adolescents. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 192–205.
Gilman, R., & Huebner, E. S. (2006). Characteristics of adolescents who report very high life satisfaction. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35(3), 293–301.
Goldweber, A., Waasdorp, T. E., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Examining the link between forms of bullying behaviors and perceptions of safety and belonging among secondary school students. Journal of School Psychology, 51(4), 469–485.
Gracia, E., & Herrero, J. (2004). Personal and situational determinants of relationship-specific perceptions of social support. Social Behavior and Personality, 32, 459–476.
van Ham, M., Manley, D., Bailey, N., Simpson, L., & Maclennan, D. (2012). Neighbourhood effects research: New perspectives. In Neighbourhood effects research: New perspectives (pp. 1–21). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
Harpham, T., Grant, E., & Rodríguez, C. (2004). Mental health and social capital in Cali, Colombia. Social Science & Medicine, 58, 2267–2277.
Herrero, J., & Gracia, E. (2007). Measuring perceived community support: Factorial structure, longitudinal invariance, and predictive validity of the PCSQ (perceived community support questionnaire). Journal of Community Psychology, 35(2), 197–217.
Herrero, J., Meneses, J., Valiente, L., & Rodríguez, F. (2004). Participación Social en Contextos Virtuales. Psicothema, 3, 456–460.
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Archives of Suicide Research : Official Journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research, 14(3), 206–221.
Homel, R., & Burns, A. (1987). Is this a good place to grow up in? Neighbourhood quality and children’s evaluations. Landscape and Urban Planning, 14(1), 101–116.
Huebner, E. S. (2004). Research on assessment of life satisfaction of children and adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 66(1), 3–33.
Huebner, E. S., Hills, K. J., Jiang, X., Long, R. F., Kelly, R., & Lyons, M. D. (2014). Schooling and children’s subjective well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being SE – 26 (pp. 797–819). Netherlands: Springer.
Jiménez, T. I., Musitu, G., Ramos, M. J., & Murgui, S. (2009). Community involvement and victimization at school: An analysis through family, personal and social adjustment. Journal of Community Psychology, 37(8), 959–974. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.20342.
Juvonen, J., & Graham, S. (2014). Bullying in schools: The power of bullies and the plight of victims. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 159–185. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115030.
Kerr, J., Valois, R., Huebner, E. S., & Drane, J. W. (2011). Life satisfaction and peer victimization among USA public high school adolescents. Child Indicators Research, 4, 127–144.
Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattanner, M. R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1073–1137.
Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S. E., & Agatston, P. W. (2012). Cyberbullying: Bullying in the digital age, 2nd end. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
Lau, A. L. D., Cummins, R. A., & McPherson, W. (2005). An investigation into the crosscultural equivalence of the personal wellbeing index. Social Indicators Research, 72(3), 403–432.
Liem, J. H., Lustig, K., & Dillon, C. (2010). Depressive symptoms and life satisfaction among emerging adults: A comparison of high school dropouts and graduates. Journal of Adult Development, 17, 33–43.
Ma, C., & Huebner, S. (2008). Attachment relationships and adolescents’ life satisfaction: Some relationships matter more to girls than boys. Psychology in the Schools, 45(2), 177–190.
Moore, P. M., Huebner, E. S., & Hills, K. J. (2011). Electronic bullying and victimization and life satisfaction in middle school students. Social Indicators Research, 107(3), 429–447.
Navarro, R., Ruiz-Oliva, R., Larrañaga, E., & Yubero, S. (2015). The impact of cyberbullying and social bullying on optimism, global and school-related happiness and life satisfaction among 10-12-year-old schoolchildren. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 10(1), 15–36.
Olweus, D., & Breivik, K. (2014). Pligh of victims of school bullying: The opposite of Well_Being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being SE – 90 (pp. 2593–2616). Netherlands: Springer.
Ortega, R., Elipe, P., Mora-Merchán, J. A., Genta, M. L., Brighi, A., Guarini, A., Smith, P. K., Thompson, F., & Tippett, N. (2012). The emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying on victims: A European cross-National Study. Aggressive Behavior, 38(5), 342–356.
Park, N., & Huebner, E. S. (2005). A cross-cultural study of the levels and correlates of life satisfaction among adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36(4), 444–456.
Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2012). Cyberbullying: An update and synthesis of the research. In J. Patchin & S. Hinduja (Eds.), Cyberbullying prevention and response: Expert perspectives (pp. 13–35). New York: Routledge.
Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2004). The subjective evaluation of well-being in adulthood: Findings and implications. Ageing International, 29(2), 113–135.
Pretty, G. M., Conroy, C., Dugay, J., Fowler, K., & Williams, D. (1996). Sense of community and its relevance to adolescents of all ages. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 24(4), 365–379.
Proctor, C. L., Linley, P. A., & Maltby, J. (2009). Youth life satisfaction: A review of the literature. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(5), 583–630.
Rodrigues, A., Schütz, F., Sarriera, J., Bedin, L., Strelhow, M., & Calza, T. (Septiembre 2014). Senso de Comunidade como preditor do bem-estar subjetivo infantile. 5° Conferencia Internacional de Psicología Comunitaria. Fortaleza - Brasil.
Rogers, M. (2012). “They are there for you”: The importance of Neighbourhood friends to Children’s well- being. Child Indicators Research, 5(3), 483–502.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 141–166.
Sarriera, J. C., & Bedin, L. (2015). Towards a socio-community model: A well-being approach. Universitas Psychologica, 14(4), 15–25.
Seligson, J. L., Huebner, E. S., & Valois, R. F. (2003). Preliminary validation of the brief multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale (BMSLSS). Social Indicators Research, 61(2), 121–145.
Seligson, J. L., Huebner, E. S., & Valois, R. F. (2005). An investigation of a brief life satisfaction scale with elementary school children. Social Indicators Research, 73(3), 355–374. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-004-2011-3.
Sirgy, J. M., & Cornwell, T. (2002). How neighborhood feature affect quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 59(1), 79–114.
Siyez, D. M., & Kaya, A. (2007). Validity and reliability of the brief multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale with Turkish children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 26(2), 139–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282907307802.
Smith, P. K., & Brain, P. (2000). Bullying in schools: Lessons from two decades of research. Aggressive Behavior, 26(1), 1–9.
Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: Its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 49(4), 376–385.
Spears, B., Slee, P., Owens, L., & Johnson, B. (2009). Behind the scenes and screens. Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 217(4), 189–196. https://doi.org/10.1027/0044-3409.217.4.189.
Swearer, S. M., & Hymel, S. (2015). Understanding the psychology of bullying: Moving toward a social-ecological diathesis–stress model. American Psychologist, 70(4), 344–353.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). New York: Pearson.
Tian, L., Zhang, J., & Huebner, E. S. (2015). Preliminary validation of the brief multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale (BMSLSS) among Chinese elementary school students. Child Indicators Research, 8, 907–923. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-014-9295-x.
Tomyn, A. J., & Cummins, R. A. (2011). The subjective wellbeing of high-school students: Validating the personal wellbeing index-school children. Social Indicators Research, 101(3), 405–418.
Ttofi, M. M., Farrington, D. P., Lösel, F., & Loeber, R. (2011). Do the victims of school bullies tend to become depressed later in life? A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 3(2), 63–73. https://doi.org/10.1108/17596591111132873.
Varela, J., Zimmerman, M., Ryan, A., Stoddard, S., Heinze, J., & Alfaro, J. (2017). Life satisfaction, school satisfaction, and school violence: A mediation analysis for Chilean adolescent victims and perpetrators. Child Indicators Research., 11, 487–505. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-016-9442-7.
Webb, D. (2009). Subjective wellbeing on the Tibetan plateau: An exploratory investigation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 753–768.
Wentzel, K. R., Barry, C. M., & Caldwell, K. A. (2004). Friendships in middle school: Influences on motivation and school adjustment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(2), 195–203.
Ybarra, M. L., Espelage, D. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2007). The co-occurrence of internet harassment and unwanted sexual solicitation victimization and perpetration: Associations with psychosocial indicators. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S31–S41.
Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2004). Online aggressor/targets, aggressors, and targets: A comparison of associated youth characteristics. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(7), 1308–1316.
Yiengprugsawan, V., Seubsman, S., Khamman, S., & Lim, L. L. (2010). Personal wellbeing index in a National Cohort of 87,134 Thai adults. Social Indicators Research, 98, 201–215.
The authors would like to thank Universidad del Desarrollo for funding the following research projects used for this study: (1) “Validation of a battery of instruments for the study of subjective well-being and social well-being in Chilean adolescents” and (2) “Proposal of an explanatory model of well-being in adolescents”.
About this article
Cite this article
Varela, J.J., Guzmán, J., Alfaro, J. et al. Bullying, Cyberbullying, Student Life Satisfaction and the Community of Chilean Adolescents. Applied Research Quality Life 14, 705–720 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9610-7
- Quality of life
- Life satisfaction