Traditional Bullying, Cyberbullying and Mental Health in Early Adolescents: Forgiveness as a Protective Factor of Peer Victimisation
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Traditional and online bullying are prevalent throughout adolescence. Given their negative consequences, it is necessary to seek protective factors to reduce or even prevent their detrimental effects in the mental health of adolescents before they become chronic. Previous studies have demonstrated the protective role of forgiveness in mental health after several transgressions. This study assessed whether forgiveness moderated the effects of bullying victimisation and cybervictimisation on
... ctimisation on mental health in a sample of 1044 early adolescents (527 females; M = 13.09 years; SD = 0.77). Participants completed a questionnaire battery that measures both forms of bullying victimisation, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, satisfaction with life, and forgiveness. Consistent with a growing body of research, results reveal that forgiveness is a protective factor against the detrimental effects of both forms of bullying. Among more victimised and cybervictimised adolescents, those with high levels of forgiveness were found to report significantly higher levels of satisfaction compared to those with low levels of forgiveness. Likewise, those reporting traditional victimisation and higher levels of forgiveness levels showed lower levels of suicidal risk. Our findings contribute to an emerging relationship between forgiveness after bullying and indicators of mental health, providing new areas for research and intervention.