Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

The mediating effect of mental health symptoms in the relationship between bullying victimization and engagement in addictive behaviors

Session Title

Session 3-1-A: Preventing Gambling-related Harm

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

30-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

30-5-2019 10:25 AM

Disciplines

Mental Disorders | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Psychology

Abstract

Engagement in gambling and substance use have frequently been reported as methods of coping with traumatic situations or maltreatment experiences such as bullying. However, the mediating role of mental health symptoms in this relationship remains unclear, with conflicting findings being evidenced regarding internalizing and externalizing symptoms. The aim of the current study is to identify whether the relationship between bullying victimization and addictive behavior use is mediated by mental health symptoms. Questionnaire responses assessing type and frequency of bullying victimization, mental health symptoms, and frequency of engagement in addictive behaviors (cigarette, marijuana, alcohol and gambling) were collected from 6,907 high-school students in Ohio. Path analysis modeling estimated the relationships among bullying victimization, mental health symptoms and engagement in addictive behaviors. Results indicate that victims of bullying endorsed a higher number of aggressive, delinquent, anxious and depressive symptoms. Although aggressive and delinquent symptoms were related to engagement in a higher number of addictive behaviors, anxious symptoms were related to using a lower number of addictive behaviors. Depressive symptoms were non-significant in predicting engagement in multiple addictive behaviors. Findings demonstrate that aggressive, delinquent and anxious symptoms partially mediate the relationship between bullying victimization and engagement in multiple addictive behaviors.

Keywords

addictive behaviors, problem gambling, substance use, bullying victimization, mental health symptoms, mediation analysis

Author Bio

Jeremie Richard is a PhD student in Counselling Psychology and a member of the International Centre for Youth Problem Gambling and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University (Canada). Jeremie has conducted research investigating the comorbidity between mental health disorders, gambling and substance-use behaviors. Currently, his research interests include exploring the association between internalizing and externalizing problems and behavioral addictions in adolescents and young adults.

Aris Grande-Gosende is a PhD student and member of the Addictive Behavior Research Group from the University of Oviedo (Spain). Her PhD dissertation focuses on the etiology and prevention of problem gambling among adolescents. Her research experience includes the topics of behavioral addictions, substance use disorders and impulsivity traits in young population. She has been co-author of several government local reports about prevention policies for gambling problems in both adults and adolescents.

Emilie is a first year MA student in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Her current research focuses on the differential effects of externalizing problems and depression on addictive behaviours, including both substance use and gambling. Previously, Emilie has worked in the field of eating disorders.

Dr. Ivoska is a board member with the Lucas County Chance for Change Foundation, the Wood County Board of Red Cross and develops intervention programs for the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board. His professional involvement includes membership with the Ohio Council of Student Development, the American Association of Counseling and Development and the American Student Personnel Association. Dr. Ivoska holds a PhD in counseling and research methods from the University of Toledo.

Dr. Temcheff is an Associate Professor in Counselling Psychology at McGill University and a Quebec Research Scholar (Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé, Chercheur Boursier Junior 1). The overarching goal of Dr. Temcheff’s research programme is to identify pathways and mechanisms which link childhood conduct problems in girls and boys to developmental trajectories of medical service utilization and mental health problems from childhood through to early adulthood.

Dr. Derevensky is a James McGill Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Dr. Derevensky’s research has focused on child and adolescent high-risk behaviors. He is actively involved in a variety of research, treatment, and prevention products. He has worked internationally and provided expert testimony before legislative bodies in several countries and his work has resulted in important social policy and governmental changes.

Funding Sources

The authors have no sources of funding to disclose.

Competing Interests

The authors have no competing interests to report.

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May 30th, 9:00 AM May 30th, 10:25 AM

The mediating effect of mental health symptoms in the relationship between bullying victimization and engagement in addictive behaviors

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Engagement in gambling and substance use have frequently been reported as methods of coping with traumatic situations or maltreatment experiences such as bullying. However, the mediating role of mental health symptoms in this relationship remains unclear, with conflicting findings being evidenced regarding internalizing and externalizing symptoms. The aim of the current study is to identify whether the relationship between bullying victimization and addictive behavior use is mediated by mental health symptoms. Questionnaire responses assessing type and frequency of bullying victimization, mental health symptoms, and frequency of engagement in addictive behaviors (cigarette, marijuana, alcohol and gambling) were collected from 6,907 high-school students in Ohio. Path analysis modeling estimated the relationships among bullying victimization, mental health symptoms and engagement in addictive behaviors. Results indicate that victims of bullying endorsed a higher number of aggressive, delinquent, anxious and depressive symptoms. Although aggressive and delinquent symptoms were related to engagement in a higher number of addictive behaviors, anxious symptoms were related to using a lower number of addictive behaviors. Depressive symptoms were non-significant in predicting engagement in multiple addictive behaviors. Findings demonstrate that aggressive, delinquent and anxious symptoms partially mediate the relationship between bullying victimization and engagement in multiple addictive behaviors.