Dating violence & sexual harassment across the bully-victim continuum among middle and high school students

Dorothy L. Espelage, Melissa K. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Associations among bullying, peer victimization, sexual harassment, and dating violence were examined among 684 middle and high school students. Cluster analysis of self-report measures revealed four distinct bully-victim subtypes: uninvolved, victims, bully-victims, and bullies. African-American students comprised the bully cluster more than White students, but did not report higher rates of dating violence or peer sexual harassment. Bully-victims reported significantly more physical dating violence victimization than members of all other groups, and more emotional abuse in dating relationships than uninvolved students and victims. Bully-victims and victims also reported the highest amount of peer sexual harassment. Anxiety/depression levels were highest among victims and bully-victims. Sexual harassment and dating violence experiences moderated the association between bully-victim subtype and anxiety/depression. That is, victims with the highest levels of sexual harassment and victims and bully-victims with the highest levels of dating violence reported the highest levels of anxiety/depression. Findings highlight the high-risk nature of the bully-victim group and the importance of assessing multiple forms of victimization affecting youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-811
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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