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      Sticks, stones, and stress: PTSD symptoms and pain catastrophizing mediate the association between peer victimization and poor physical health

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      Spotlight on Mental Health Research

      Spotlight on Research

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          Abstract

          Abstract Introduction: Being bullied, also known as peer victimization, is a significant social stressor robustly associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and poor physical health. Although much of the research on this topic has been correlational, longitudinal studies have found that being bullied predicts the development of physical health and mental health symptoms in children and college students. However, the interrelationships (mediation) between PTSD, pain catastrophizing, and physical health as they relate to peer victimization is unclear. In the current study we sought to better establish a pathway among peer victimization, PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and physical health symptoms. Method: College students (N = 275) in an engineering and technology research university in upstate New York participated. Participants completed assessments of peer victimization, PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and physical health symptoms. Results: Consistent with previous research, peer victimization was significantly correlated with frequency and severity of physical health problems, PTSD symptoms (reexperiencing, avoidance, and arousal), and pain catastrophizing (rumination, magnification, and helplessness). Significant mediational models were also established, where both PTSD symptoms and pain magnification each mediated the association between peer victimization and severity of health problems. Conclusions: The current research further elucidates the interrelationship among PTSD symptoms, pain catastrophizing, and health problems resulting from peer victimization. The current study expands the current understanding of interrelationships of these variables and provides implications for interventions and treatment. Keywords: Peer victimization, bullying, PTSD symptoms, physical health

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Spotlight on Mental Health Research
          Mental Health Research
          Spotlight on Research
          November 25 2019
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Clarkson University, Psychology, Potsdam, USA
          [2 ]California State University, San Marcos, Disability Support Services, San Marcos, USA
          Article
          10.35831/sor/mr/skbt2019
          © 2019

          The license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ lets others remix, adapt, and build upon the work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge the source and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

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