Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying and depression in early and late adolescence
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Background From the social-ecological perspective, exposure to violence at the different developmental levels is fundamental to explain the dynamics of violence and victimization in educational centers. The following study aims at analyzing how these relationships are produced in the Peruvian context, where structural violence situations exist. Methods A multi-mediation structural model with 21,416 Peruvian adolescents (M = 13.69; SD = 0.71) was conducted to determine the influence of violence in the school environment on violence perceived within school and violence exercised by teachers. In addition, it was also intended to determine whether these violent relationships predict depression through loneliness, and bullying through peer victimization. The existence of differences between early and late adolescence was also verified. Results Results confirm that violence in the school setting has high influence on violence exercised by adolescents and teachers within the school. Teacher violence is the most important predictor of depression through loneliness, and encourages peer victimization and the emergence of aggressive behavior. Exposure to violence exercised by support sourcesteachers and classmatesexplains more than 90% of the total variance explained in bullying behavior. Differences were found between early and late adolescence models. Conclusion The high prevalence of structural violence in school settings facilitates the bullying/victimization dynamics within school. From a social-ecological perspective, this result suggests the importance of network cooperation at a mesosystem level, with teachers from educational centers playing a crucial role in the prevention of bullying/victimization.