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Title page for ETD etd-08022012-203726

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Tran, Cong Van
Author's Email Address cong.v.tran@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-08022012-203726
Title Relations Between Peer Victimization, Self-Cognitions, and Depression in the United States and Vietnam
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bahr Weiss, Ph.D. Committee Co-Chair
David A. Cole, Ph.D. Committee Co-Chair
Alanna Truss, Ph.D. Committee Member
Carlos Tilghman-Osborne, Ph.D. Committee Member
Craig Smith, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • self-concept
  • self-cognition
  • peer bullying
  • peer victimization
  • depression
  • depressive symptoms
  • Vietnam
  • United States
  • cross-cultural
  • cross-countries
Date of Defense 2012-07-16
Availability unrestricted
Peer victimization is a significant problem for students throughout the U.S., one that threatens the safety of school environment for all students. Peer victimization in the school has been linked to a number of negative outcomes including reduced academic performance and achievement, impaired social relations, and development of mental health problems. Peer victimization in particular is linked to depression, and to the self-cognitions implicated in the development of depression. Most of the research in this area has been conducted in the United States or other highly developed Western countries, however, and relatively little is known about peer victimization in the developing world where the majority of the world’s human population lives. The present project focused on Vietnam, an Asian country of over 91 million people, approximately 25% of whom are under the age of 15. By comparing data collected in Vietnam to data from a similar study conducted in the U.S., the project had two primary goals: To assess (a) how levels of peer victimization differ across ages and gender in schools across two countries, and (b) the extent to which strengths of relations between peer victimization, and self-cognition, and depression differ in the U.S. versus Vietnam. There were four primary findings in the current study. First, our cultural values scale was psychometrically weak, to the point that it was not used in our main analyses. Second, all measures had full or partial configural measurement invariance but not metric or scalar invariance across countries. Third, age trends in levels of peer victimization differed significantly across the two countries. And fourth, there were significant differences in the relations among peer victimization, self-cognition and depression between the U.S. and Vietnam. Discussion elaborates on each of these findings and relates them to previous theory and research.
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