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International Journal of Bullying Prevention



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Peer victimization is associated with unwanted outcomes including less school belongingness and lower academic ability and school achievement. This study expanded on previous research by investigating how a perception of defending by peers and teachers interacted with peer victimization to predict four aspects of student subjective wellbeing: school connectedness, joy of learning, educational purpose, and academic efficacy. Participants were 1058 (488 girls, 524 boys, 20 who reported "other," and 26 who did not report gender) U.S. adolescent 6th-9th graders, many who received free/reduced-price lunch, often from urban schools. Their mean age was 12.96 years (SD = 1.20); most identified as Hispanic (62%), followed by White (13%), Black (11%), Multiracial (7%), Asian (6%), and less than 1% American Indian or Pacific Islander. Results showed that perceived defending from students can impact victimized adolescents' sense of connectedness to their schools and their joy of learning. It is important to understand how perceived defending impacts victims of peer victimization in order to evaluate intervention effectiveness.