An age and gender comparison of adolescent hostility and its relationship to depression and bullying : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology, at Massey University
This study set out to establish the relationship of adolescent hostility to depression and bullying in respect to age and gender. The two groups measured comprised 355 children aged 13 and 14, and 17 and 18 from both urban and rural co-educational high schools. Students were required in class to complete a questionnaire comprising three clinical assessment tools - the Beck Depression Inventory-II, Cynical Distrust Scale (revised) and Peer Relations Questionnaire, measuring depression, hostility and bullying respectively. Results using Pearson's r, confirmed correlations of 0.01 significance between hostility and depression for both genders and age groups. The hostility-bullying relationship was found to be only significant for males. Boys-especially the younger group, reported more frequent and physical bullying, whereas girls experienced greater verbal and psychological bullying. Age was found to be a moderating factor, suggesting that boys as they get older use more covert ways of dealing with hostility. These findings contribute to current knowledge on adolescent hostility, and provide valuable information useful to schools and those developing strategies for the prevention and treatment of hostility, depression and bullying.