The effect of parental stress on bullying and victimization in adolescence and the role of self-control and gender as a moderator
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Bullying in adolescence is found to negatively affect the mental health of adolescents. Multiple studies have found a positive association between parental stress and bullying/victimization. As far as known the current study is one of the first studies exploring the predictive relationship between parental stress and bullying/victimization over time. It is expected that parental stress at age 11 predicts bullying and victimization at age 14. Also, the moderating effects of gender and self-control are assessed. The effects are expected to be stronger for boys. Higher self-control is expected to weaken the relationship. Data of the longitudinal TRAILS study was used to test the hypotheses (N=2229; 50.7% female; Mage = 11.1 years). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that experiencing parental stress at home at age 11 predicted nomination as a bully by peers at age 14. However, parental stress did not have an effect on victimization. Furthermore, no moderating effects of self-control and gender were found. In conclusion, future research should carefully take the role of parenting into account when aiming to reduce bullying/victimization in schools.