Peer victimization and depressive symptoms in Mexican American middle school students: Including acculturation as a variable of interest

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This study examined direct and indirect victimization and depressive symptoms in a sample of 229 Mexican American middle school students. The effects of gender, grade, and acculturation on both victimization and depressive symptoms were investigated. The moderating effect of receiving prosocial actions from peers was also explored. Approximately 23% of students in the sample were victimized. Females were recipients of more prosocial behavior, but receiving prosocial behavior did not moderate the influence of victimization on depressive symptoms. Significantly more depressive symptoms were reported by victims than by nonvictims. Anglo-oriented participants reported significantly more depressive symptoms than did their bicultural classmates. Indirect victimization made the largest contribution to a regression equation predicting depressive symptoms. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-535
Number of pages21
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009



  • Acculturation
  • Depression
  • Mexican American
  • Middle school
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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