Prolonged Stress, PTSD, and Depression among School Aggressors and Victims

Thomas P. Gumpel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Exposure rates to school aggression as an aggressor, victim, aggressive victim, or a bystander is high, with large numbers of school-aged children reporting being subjected to verbal or physical violence. We hypothesized that all 3 clusters of the DSM-IV designation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Criterion B: Intrusive recall, Criterion C: Avoidance, and Criterion D: Hypervigilance) would be experienced by pure victims, pure aggressors, and aggressive victims. We also anticipated that PTSD symptoms would lead to depression, primarily for victims. Questionnaires were given to 1,398 students, yielding 1,116 valid questionnaires (80% response rate). Respondents were enrolled in the general education system, from 9 different schools in Israel. Following calibration of the research instruments using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, a series of structural equation and reflection models were examined. The path through some of the symptoms of PTSD and depression was apparent only for victims. For the victims, the indirect model through avoidance predicted depression only for relational victimization. No clear linkage was found among aggression, PTSD, and depression for aggressors. For aggressors, physical aggression was linked with the 3 clusters of PTSD symptoms, but not with depression.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)180-196
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Aggression
  • PTSD
  • depression
  • exposure to violence
  • school violence
  • trauma


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