Retrospective and Concurrent Victimisation as Predictors of Social Self-Concept and Loneliness in First-Year University Students
Peer victimisation during school years has been found to significantly shape the way students perceive themselves and how they enter into relationships with peers, thus impacting students’ current and long-term wellbeing. However, victimisation has seldom been examined in university students. The present study aimed to investigate students’ current level of self-reported peer victimisation and perceived peer support and their retrospectively reported victimisation as predictors of their social self-concept and loneliness in their first year of university. First-year university students (N = 200; 26% male) participated in the study. The results indicated that retrospectively reported victimisation experiences during their years of schooling explained additional variance in social self-concept and loneliness beyond their concurrent peer experiences. These findings indicate that experiencing victimisation during school years could have consequences for students’ wellbeing that are not limited to the period of primary and secondary schooling, but can persist after their transition to university. Practical implications for the promotion of mental health in the higher education context are discussed.
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