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Title:Testing the influence of gendered harassment on mental health outcomes in adolescence using longitudinal structural equation modeling
Author(s):Rinehart, Sarah Jane
Director of Research:Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bub, Kristen L.; Rounds, James; Allen, Nicole E.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mental health
Abstract:Gendered harassment, including sexual harassment and homophobic name calling, is prevalent in schools and is linked to negative outcomes including depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance abuse, and personal distress (Chiodo, Wolfe, Crooks, Hughes, & Jaffe, 2009; Espelage, Aragon, Birkett, & Koenig, 2008; Espelage, Low, & De La Rue, 2012; Gruber & Fineran, 2007). However, much of the extant literature is cross-sectional, and rarely are perpetrators of these behaviors included in studies of outcomes. Therefore, the current study examined the effects of changes in gendered harassment perpetration and victimization on changes in mental health outcomes with structural equation modeling. These behaviors are in the context of a patriarchal society (Kimmel & Mahler, 2003). Given this milieu, the current study also investigated the impact of gender as well as gender attitudes on gendered harassment. In addition, a cross- lagged model of gendered harassment behaviors over time was tested. Participants included 3,549 students from four Midwestern middle schools (50.4% female, 49% African American, 34% white, 6% Hispanic, and 2% Asian) at three time points (13 years old, 16 years old, and 17 years old). Results indicated that increases from age 13 to 17 in sexual harassment perpetration and victimization as well homophobic name-calling perpetration and victimization all predict increases in depression symptoms and substance use. Gender did not moderate these pathways. The role of gender attitudes were shown to be complex, as gender inequity attitudes were significantly associated with sexual harassment perpetration and homophobic victimization, while gender stereotyped attitudes were associated with sexual harassment perpetration and victimization as well as homophobic perpetration. Finally, in terms of associations between victimization and perpetration, both perpetration and victimization were related to themselves across each wave, with additional associations between victimization and perpetration across waves for sexual harassment but not for homophobic name-calling. These findings highlight that negative outcomes are associated with gendered harassment for all involved, and emphasizes the importance of prevention efforts. Implications for school interventions are discussed.
Issue Date:2017-04-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Sarah Rinehart
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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