Background: Adolescent victims of bullying often present high levels of maladjustment, such as depression, anxiety, and the inability to manage anger. Both forgiveness and friendship have been found to be moderating agents for the debilitating psychological effects seen in the victims of bullying. Our aim was to explore the roles of forgiveness and friendship in the psychological adjustment of victimised youths. Method: The sample was composed of 2,105 adolescents (age range 13-20) recruited from central and southern Italy. We collected information on bullying, forgiveness, friendship, depression, anxiety and anger. Results: We found that more victimisation and not having a best friend had an additive effect on maladjustment. Moreover, adolescents who scored lower in forgiveness were more likely to be depressed and angry. Discussion: Our data provide confirmation that forgiveness is a protective factor for Italian adolescents, as is friendship, although they do not operate as interactive protective factors. Given that forgiveness is so significantly associated with wellbeing and the fact that it can be taught and enhanced in both clinical and school settings, it would be worthwhile to include work on forgiveness in prevention and treatment programmes.

Forgiveness and friendship protect adolescent victims of bullying from emotional maladjustment

Salvati, Marco;
2018

Abstract

Background: Adolescent victims of bullying often present high levels of maladjustment, such as depression, anxiety, and the inability to manage anger. Both forgiveness and friendship have been found to be moderating agents for the debilitating psychological effects seen in the victims of bullying. Our aim was to explore the roles of forgiveness and friendship in the psychological adjustment of victimised youths. Method: The sample was composed of 2,105 adolescents (age range 13-20) recruited from central and southern Italy. We collected information on bullying, forgiveness, friendship, depression, anxiety and anger. Results: We found that more victimisation and not having a best friend had an additive effect on maladjustment. Moreover, adolescents who scored lower in forgiveness were more likely to be depressed and angry. Discussion: Our data provide confirmation that forgiveness is a protective factor for Italian adolescents, as is friendship, although they do not operate as interactive protective factors. Given that forgiveness is so significantly associated with wellbeing and the fact that it can be taught and enhanced in both clinical and school settings, it would be worthwhile to include work on forgiveness in prevention and treatment programmes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050124
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