The contribution of social support to children and adolescents' self-perception: The mediating role of bullying victimization

Faye Mishna*, Mona Khoury-Kassabri, Kaitlin Schwan, Judith Wiener, Wendy Craig, Tanya Beran, Debra Pepler, Joanne Daciuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to report on a study that explores the linkages among self-perception, perceptions of social support, and bullying involvement among children and youth, with a focus on how bullying victimization mediates the association of social support and self-perception. We employ Harter's multidimensional model of self-esteem (1999; 2012), which highlights the inextricable link of social support to global self-esteem but does not explore the contribution of bullying involvement to this association. Our findings indicate that social support is associated with self-perception, and that traditional victimization mediates the association between social support and self-perception for three self-perception measures: social acceptance, physical appearance, and global self-worth. Contrary to our expectations, cyberbullying victimization was not found to mediate the relationship between social support and self-perception. These findings underscore the importance of exploring both traditional bullying victimization and cyberbullying victimization in relation to social support in order to understand their effect on development and wellbeing. More broadly, this study's finding that social support was a significant buffer to bullying victimization emphasizes the necessity of developing prevention and intervention strategies which are relationship-based and implemented early in young people's lives.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cyberbullying
  • Self-perception
  • Social support
  • Traditional bullying
  • Victimization


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