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Negative Mood Regulation Expectancies as a Moderator and Mediator of the Relationship between Peer Victimization and Internalizing Symptoms.
Past research has demonstrated an association between peer victimization and internalizing problems. Nonetheless, there are some children who seem to be undamaged by their experiences of peer victimization. In an effort to understand this resilience, the current study examined negative mood regulation (NMR) expectancies as a potential moderator and mediator of the relationship between peer victimization and internalizing problems of depression and anxiety. Fifty-three students in grades 4 through 6 completed self-report questionnaires: the Negative Mood Regulation Scale for Youth, the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Peer Interaction Primary School Questionnaire. As expected, peer victimization positively correlated with depression and anxiety, while NMR expectancies negatively correlated with depression and anxiety. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed full mediation by NMR expectancies of the relationship between peer victimization and depression. Furthermore, there was evidence for partial mediation by NMR expectancies of the relationship between peer victimization and anxiety. The findings from this study have implications for changing the focus of bullying intervention programs and clinical treatment of children who are affected by peer victimization. Future interventions could focus on changing the expectancies of children who have low NMR expectancies, thus giving them skills to withstand the deleterious effects of peer victimization.
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