Verbal victimization and changes in hopelessness among elementary school children.
Hanley, A.~~Gibb, B.~~~
Hopelessness is a known risk factor for a number of negative outcomes including suicide attempts and deaths. However, little is known about how hopelessness may develop. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of verbal victimization on changes in children’s levels of hopelessness. Participants were 448 fourth- and fifth-grade children who were assessed twice, 6 months apart. As hypothesized, reports of verbal victimization occurring during the follow-up period predicted residual change in children’s levels of hopelessness. This relation was maintained even after statistically controlling for children’s depressive symptoms. Together, these findings suggest that verbal victimization is associated with a greater risk for developing hopelessness in elementary school children, an effect that appears at least partially independent of concurrent depressive symptoms.
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