Bullying Victimization and Depression Among Left-Behind Adolescents in Rural China: Roles of Hopelessness and Grit

Shuling Gao, Ko Ling Chan (Corresponding Author), Shimin Chen, Hua Zhong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Left-behind children are children under 18 years old who live in their rural hometowns and are cared for by grandparents or other relatives for more than 6 months when their parents migrate from rural to urban areas for work. Left-behind adolescents are more likely to experience bullying victimization, which may lead to internalizing problem behaviors. Existing research showed that bullying victimization is related to left-behind adolescents’ depression, but the mediating and moderating mechanisms that underlie this association are unclear. This study investigated the mediating effect of hopelessness and the moderating role of grit in the association between bullying victimization and left-behind adolescents’ depression. A sample of 476 adolescents (mean age = 14.49, SD = 1.04) from two middle schools in a rural area of China anonymously completed the Children’s Depression Inventory, the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire, the Hopelessness Scale for Children, the Grit-S, and a demographic information questionnaire. After controlling for gender and age, bullying victimization was significantly and positively related to left-behind adolescents’ depression. The mediation analysis showed that the positive association between bullying victimization and left-behind adolescents’ depression was mediated by hopelessness. Furthermore, the moderation analysis indicated that grit moderated the association between bullying victimization and left-behind adolescents’ depression. The current study explains how and to whom bullying victimization is related to left-behind adolescents’ depression. This study informs that prevention and intervention of depression among left-behind adolescents would be effective if efforts target bullying victimization, hopelessness, and personal grit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-764
Number of pages11
JournalSchool Mental Health
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Bullying victimization
  • Depression
  • Grit
  • Hopelessness
  • Left-behind adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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