Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Christian Vaccaro, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kay A. Snyder, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alex Heckert, Ph.D.

Abstract

This research study evaluated the effects of bullying on students across Pennsylvania. Using the 2009 Pennsylvania Youth Survey, this study examined the effects of bullying and cyber bullying on junior and senior high school students' cigarette and alcohol use are evaluated. Logistic regression tested the effects of bullying and cyber bullying on sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grader's frequent reported cigarette and alcohol use, as well as the mediating effects that an adolescent's self-concept, parentally controlled environment, healthy parental relationships, and unhealthy family relationships had on bullying. Initial regression independently tested for the influence of bullying and its effects on cigarette and alcohol use, before taking into account possible mediations that may either aggravate or mitigate the effects of bullying. The results from the analysis reveal that bullying had an impact on adolescent cigarette and alcohol use. Adolescent self-concept, parentally controlled environment, healthy parental relationships, and unhealthy family relationships also played a role in mediating the effects of bullying on adolescent cigarette and alcohol use. Overall results provide possible directions for future research and policy implications.

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