Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 7–8, pp 525–537 | Cite as

Adolescent Bullying, Relationships, Psychological Well-Being, and Gender-Atypical Behavior: A Gender Diagnosticity Approach

  • Robert Young
  • Helen Sweeting
Article

Abstract

In this study we used a gender diagnostic (GD) approach to examine the associations between gender-atypical behavior and gender role (masculinity—M and femininity—F), bullying, peer relationships, and psychological well-being in a large community sample of 15-year-olds. GD showed little relationship with gender role. Irrespective of sex, M was positively, and F negatively associated with being a bully. “Gender atypical” boys reported more victimization, more loneliness, fewer male friends, and greater distress than their “gender typical” peers. After accounting for M and F, “femaleness” (“gender atypical” boys and “extremely gender-typed” girls) was associated with psychological distress. GD is an effective and unobtrusive method to identify a group whose vulnerability should be recognized by psychology, health, and education professionals.

adolescents gender role bullying relationships psychological well-being 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

references

  1. Ambert, A. (1994). A qualitative study of peer abuse and its effects: Theoretical and empirical implications. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 119-130.Google Scholar
  2. Annandale, E., & Hunt, K. (1990). Masculinity, femininity and sex: An exploration of their relative contribution to explaining gender differences in health. Sociology of Health and Illness, 12, 24-46.Google Scholar
  3. Aube, J., Fichman, L., Saltaris, C., & Koestner, R. (2000). Gender differences in adolescent depressive symptomatology: Towards an integrated social-developmental model. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 297-313.Google Scholar
  4. Auster, C. J., & Ohm, S. C. (2000). Masculinity and femininity in contemporary American society: A re-evaluation using the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. Sex Roles, 43, 499-528.Google Scholar
  5. Bagley, C., & D'Augelli, A. (2000). Suicidal behavior in gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Editorial). BMJ, 320, 1617-1618.Google Scholar
  6. Bank, B., & Hansford, S. (2000). Gender and friendship: Why are men's best same-sex friendships less intimate and supportive? Personal Relationships, 7, 63-78.Google Scholar
  7. Banks, M. H. (1983). Validation of the General Health Questionnaire in a young community sample. Psychological Medicine, 13, 349-353.Google Scholar
  8. Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162.Google Scholar
  9. Bem, S. L. (1995). The lenses of gender: Transforming the debate on sexual inequality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Boldizar, J. (1991). Assessing sex typing and androgyny in children: The Children's Sex Role Inventory. Developmental Psychology, 27, 505-515.Google Scholar
  11. Boulton, M., & Hawker, D. (1997). Non-physical forms of bullying among school pupils: A cause for concern. Health Education, 2, 61-64.Google Scholar
  12. Boulton, M., & Smith, P. (1994). Bully-victim problems in middle-school children: Stability, self-perceived competence, peer perceptions, and peer acceptance. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12, 315-329.Google Scholar
  13. Bradley, S. J., & Zucker, K. J. (1997). Gender Identity Disorder: A review of the past 10 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 872-880.Google Scholar
  14. Brazelton, E., Greene, K., & Gynther, M. (1996). Femininity, depression and stress in college women. Social Behavior and Personality, 24, 329-333.Google Scholar
  15. Byrne, B. (1994). Bullies and victims in a school setting with reference to some Dublin schools. Irish Journal of Psychology, 15, 574-586.Google Scholar
  16. Cavender, G., Bond-Maupin, L., & Jurik, N. (1999). The construction of gender in reality crime TV. Gender & Society, 13, 643-663.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Owen, A., Kaijser, V. G., Bradley, S. J., & Zucker, K. J. (2003). Demographic characteristics, social competence, and behavior problems in children with Gender Identity Disorder: A cross-national, cross-clinic comparative analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31, 41-53.Google Scholar
  18. Constantinople, A. (1973). masculinity–femininity: An exception to a famous dictum? Psychological Bulletin, 80, 389-407.Google Scholar
  19. Cramer, K., & Neyedley, K. (1998). Sex differences in loneliness: The role of masculinity and femininity. Sex Roles, 38, 645-65.Google Scholar
  20. Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Overt and relational aggression in adolescents: Social-psychological adjustment of aggressors and victims. Child Development, 66, 710-722.Google Scholar
  21. Desrochers, S. (1995). What types of men are most attractive and most repulsive to women? Sex Roles, 32, 375-391.Google Scholar
  22. Ecob, R., Sweeting, H., West, P., & Mitchell, R. (1996). The West of Scotland 11 to 16 Study: Schools, sample design and implementation issues (Working Paper No. 61). Glasgow, UK: MRC Medical Sociology Unit.Google Scholar
  23. Eslea, M., & Smith, P. (1998). The long-term effectiveness of anti-bullying work in primary schools. Educational Research, 40, 203-218.Google Scholar
  24. Franklin, K. (2000). Antigay behavior among young adults: Prevalence, patterns, and motivators in a noncriminal population. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15, 339-362.Google Scholar
  25. Gillespie, B., & Eisler, R. (1992). Development of the Feminine Gender-Role Stress Scale: A cognitive-behavioural measure of stress, appraisal, and coping for women. Behavior Modification, 16, 426-438.Google Scholar
  26. Goldberg, D., & Williams, P. (1988). A user's guide to the General Health Questionnaire. Windsor, UK: NEFR Nelson.Google Scholar
  27. Green, R. (1987). The “sissy boy syndrome” and the development of homosexuality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hankin, B., & Abramson, L. (1999). Development of gender differences in depression: Description and possible explanations. Annals of Medicine, 31, 372-379.Google Scholar
  29. Harry, J. (1983). Parasuicide, gender, and gender deviance. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 350-361.Google Scholar
  30. Hart, B., & Thompson, J. (1996). Gender role characteristics and depressive symptomatology among adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 16, 407-426.Google Scholar
  31. Hendry, L., Shucksmith, J., Love, J., & Glendinning, A. (1993). Young people's leisure and lifestyles. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Hugh-Jones, S., & Smith, P. (1999). Self-reports of short-and long-term effects of bullying on children who stammer. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 141-158.Google Scholar
  33. Hunt, K., & Sweeting, H. (1996). Gender role orientation and age: A comparison of the Bem Sex Role Inventory in three cohorts (Working Paper No 39). Glasgow, UK: MRC Medical Sociology Unit.Google Scholar
  34. Jones, D., & Costin, S. (1995). Friendship quality during preadolescence and adolescence: The contributions of relationship orientations, instrumentality, and expressivity. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 41, 517-535.Google Scholar
  35. Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpela, M., Marttunen, M., Rimpela, A., & Rantanen, P. (1999). Bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation in Finnish adolescents: School study. BMJ, 319, 348-351.Google Scholar
  36. Kandel, D., & Davies, M. (1982). Epidemiology of depressive mood in adolescents. Archives of Psychiatry, 29, 1205-1212.Google Scholar
  37. Kumpulainen, R., Rasanen, E., & Hentonnen, I. (1999). Children involved in bullying: Psychological disturbance and persistence of the involvement. Child Abuse & Neglect, 23, 1253-1262.Google Scholar
  38. Kumpulainen, R., Rasanen, E., Hentonnen, I., Almqvist, F., Kresanov, K., Linna, S., et al. (1998). Bullying and psychiatric symptoms among elementary school-age children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 22, 705-717.Google Scholar
  39. Lengua, L., & Stormshak, E. (2000). Gender, gender roles, and personality: Gender differences in the prediction of coping and psychological symptoms. Sex Roles, 43, 787-820.Google Scholar
  40. Levy, G., Taylor, M., & Gelman, S. (1995). Traditional and evaluative aspects of flexibility in gender roles, social conventions, moral rules, and physical laws. Child Development, 66, 515-531.Google Scholar
  41. Lippa, R. (1991). Some psychometric characteristics of gender diagnosticity measures: Reliability, validity, consistency across domains, and relationship to the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 1000-1011.Google Scholar
  42. Lippa, R. (1995). Gender-related individual differences and psychological adjustment in terms of the Big Five and circumplex models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 1184-1202.Google Scholar
  43. Lippa, R. (1998). The nonverbal display and judgment of extraversion, masculinity, femininity, and gender diagnosticity: A lens model analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 32, 80-107.Google Scholar
  44. Lippa, R. (2000). Gender-related traits in gay men, lesbian women, and heterosexual men and women: The virtual identity of homosexual-heterosexual diagnosticity and gender diagnosticity. Journal of Personality, 68, 899-926.Google Scholar
  45. Lippa, R. (2001). Gender-related traits in transsexuals and non-transsexuals. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30, 603-614.Google Scholar
  46. Lippa, R. (2002a). Gender-related traits of heterosexual and homosexual men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 77-92.Google Scholar
  47. Lippa, R. (2002b).Gender, nature and nuture. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  48. Lippa, R., & Connelly, S. (1990). Gender diagnosticity: A new Bayesian approach to gender-related individual differences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1051-1065.Google Scholar
  49. Macintyre, S., Hunt, K., & Sweeting, H. (1996). Gender differences in health: Are things really as simple as they seem? Social Science & Medicine, 42, 617-624.Google Scholar
  50. Martin, C. (1990). Attitudes and expectations about children with nontraditional and traditional gender roles. Sex Roles, 22, 151-165.Google Scholar
  51. Marusic, I., & Bratko, D. (1998). Relations of masculinity and femininity with personality dimensions of the five-factor model. Sex Roles, 38, 29-44.Google Scholar
  52. Mellor, A. (1997). Bullying: The Scottish experience. Irish Journal of Psychology, 18, 248-257.Google Scholar
  53. Menvielle, E. (1998). Gender identity disorder (letter to the Editor). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37, 243-244.Google Scholar
  54. Mirowsky, J., & Ross, C. (1995). Sex differences in distress: Real or artifact? American Sociological Review, 60, 449-468.Google Scholar
  55. Monsour, M. (2002). Women and men as friends: Relationships across the life span in the 21st century. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  56. Morrison, C., & MacKay, A. (2000). The experience of violence and harassment of gay men in the city of Edinburgh (Report by the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit). Edinburgh, UK: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  57. Nansel, T., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R., Ruan, W., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094-2100.Google Scholar
  58. Norusis, M. (1985). SPSS-X: Advanced statistics guide. Chicago: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  59. Olweus, D. (1990). Bullying among school children. In K. Hurrelmann & F. Losel (Eds.), Health hazards in adolescence (pp. 259-297). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  60. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  61. O'Moore, A., & Hillery, B. (1989). Bullying in Dublin schools. Irish Journal of Psychology, 10, 426-441.Google Scholar
  62. O'Moore, A., Kirkham, C., & Smith, M. (1997). Bullying behaviour in Irish schools: A nationwide study. Irish Journal of Psychology, 18, 141-169.Google Scholar
  63. Peterson, L., & Rigby, K. (1999). Countering bullying at an Australian secondary school with students as helpers. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 481-492.Google Scholar
  64. Powlishta, K. (2000). The effect of target age on the activation of gender stereotypes. Sex Roles, 42, 271-282.Google Scholar
  65. Prinstein, M. J., Boergers, J., & Vernberg, E. M. (2001). Overt and relational aggression in adolescents: Social-psychological adjustment of aggressors and victims. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 479-491.Google Scholar
  66. Radanovic, Z., & Eric, L. (1983). Validity of the General Health Questionnaire in a Yugoslav student population. Psychological Medicine, 13, 205-207.Google Scholar
  67. Reay, D. (2002). Shaun's story: Troubling discourses of White working-class masculinities. Gender & Education, 14, 221-234.Google Scholar
  68. Redman, P. (2000). “Tarred with the same brush”: “Homophobia” and the role of the unconscious in school-based cultures of masculinity. Sexualities, 3, 483-499.Google Scholar
  69. Reeder, H. (2003). The effect of gender role orientation on same-and cross-sex friendship formation. Sex Roles, 49, 143-153.Google Scholar
  70. Rigby, K. (1999). Peer victimization at school and the health of secondary school students. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 95-104.Google Scholar
  71. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Salmon, G., James, D., & Smith, D. (1998). Bullying in schools: Self reported anxiety, depression, and self-esteem in secondary school children. BMJ, 317, 924-925.Google Scholar
  73. Sanfilipo, M. (1994). Masculinity, femininity, and subjective experiences of depression. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 50, 144-157.Google Scholar
  74. Sappington, J., Notte, C., & Broerman, F. (1998). Comparisons by sex of psychometric correlates of the MMPI-2 Depression Scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 87, 539-543.Google Scholar
  75. Savin-Williams, R. (1994). Verbal and physical abuse as stressors in the lives of lesbian, gay male, and bisexual youths: Associations with school problems, running away, substance abuse, prostitution, and suicide. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 261-269.Google Scholar
  76. Shepherd, P. (1993). Appendix 1: Analysis of response bias. In Ferri (Ed.), Life at 33. The fifth follow-up of the National Child Development Study (pp. 184-187). London, UK: National Children's Bureau.Google Scholar
  77. Swain, J. (1998). What does bullying really mean? Educational Research, 40, 358-364.Google Scholar
  78. Sweeting, H. (1995). Reversals of fortune? Sex differences in health in childhood and adolescence. Social Science & Medicine, 40, 77-90.Google Scholar
  79. Sweeting, H., Der, G., & West, P. (2001). Bias, attrition and weighting in respect of the West of Scotland 11 to 16 Study's Baseline, S2 and S4 surveys (Working Paper No. 9). Glasgow, UK: MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit.Google Scholar
  80. Sweeting, H., & West, P. (2001). Being different: Correlates of the experience of teasing and bullying at age 11. Research Papers in Education, 16, 225-246.Google Scholar
  81. Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (1996). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  82. Taylor, M., & Hall, J. (1982). Psychological androgyny: Theories, methods, and conclusions. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 347-366.Google Scholar
  83. Terman, L., & Miles, C. (1936). Sex and personality: Studies in masculinity and femininity. New York: Russell & Russell.Google Scholar
  84. Thomas, S., & Robinson, M. (1981). Development of a measure of androgyny for young adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 1, 195-209.Google Scholar
  85. Thornton, B., & Leo, R. (1992). Gender typing, importance of multiple roles, and mental health consequences for women. Sex Roles, 27, 307-317.Google Scholar
  86. West, P., & Sweeting, H. (1996). Background, rationale and design of the West of Scotland 11 to 16 Study (Working Paper No. 52). Glasgow, UK: MRC Medical Sociology Unit.Google Scholar
  87. Whitney, I., & Smith, P. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. Educational Research, 35, 3-25.Google Scholar
  88. Wichstrom, L. (1999). The emergence of gender differences in depressed mood during adolescence: The role of intensified gender socialization. Developmental Psychology, 35, 232-245.Google Scholar
  89. Wilhelm, K., Parker, G., & Asghari, A. (1998). Sex differences in the experience of depressed mood state over fifteen years. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 33, 16-20.Google Scholar
  90. Williams, K., Chambers, M., Logan, S., & Robinson, D. (1996). Association of common health symptoms with bullying in primary school children. BMJ, 313, 17-19.Google Scholar
  91. Wolke, D., Woods, S., Bloomfield, L., & Karstadt, L. (2000). The association between direct and relational bullying and behavior problems among primary school children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 41, 989-1002.Google Scholar
  92. Zucker, K. J., & Bradley, S. J. (1995). Gender identity disorder and psychosexual problems in children & adolescents. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  93. Zucker, K. J., Bradley, S. J., & Sanikhani, M. (1997). Sex differences in referral rates of children with gender identity disorder: Some hypotheses. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 25, 217-227.Google Scholar
  94. Zucker, K. J., Owen, A., Bradley, S. J., & Ameeriar, L. (2002). Gender-dysphoric children and adolescents: A comparative analysis of demographic characteristics and behavioral problems. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7, 398-411.Google Scholar
  95. Zucker, K. J., Smith, D. W., Kurita, J., & Stern, A. (1995). Children's appraisals of sex-typed behavior in their peers. Sex Roles, 33, 703-725.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Young
    • 1
  • Helen Sweeting
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Social and Public Health Sciences UnitUniversity of GlasgowScotlandUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations