Main Article Content

Alexander Okezie Onwu
Francisca Ngozi Ogba
Chinyere Elom
Ntasiobi,C.N. Igu
Ononaiwu Agnes Ijeoma
Awoke Ngozi Ngwanma
Emeka Nwinyinya
Eze Beatrice Aka
Orogwu Aloysius Alo
Ugbogu Chikwendu
Uguba Chinyere Otuu
Ulunta, Justice Chukwudi
Ogodo Samuel Monday
Amaeze Fidelis Eze


Adolescence, Bullying, Depression and Social support


There have been empirical evidences revealing that depressed in-school adolescents with bullying experience are at increase rate on daily basis. This however calls for immediate attention to manage this new wave of bullying experience affecting students and making them depressed. On this note, the present study investigated on predictive power of social support in the management of depression among in-school adolescents with bullying experience in Ebonyi State. Two research questions and corresponding hypotheses which was tested at 0.05 level of significance was used for the study. The study used a correlation design with population of 120,882 students in 222 public secondary schools in Ebonyi State. The study through simple random sampling technique used the sample size of 480 depressed in-school adolescents identified with bullying experience using personal experiences checklist with a 32- item self-report (Hunt et al., 2012) and adapted  bullying experience self-reported questions(Ngo et al., 2021).   Social Support Inventory (SSI) and Reynolds Adolescents Depression Scale 2nd Edition (RADS-2) was used for data collection.  Three validates face validated the instruments. Internal consistency reliability coefficients of 0.87 and 0.78 were obtained for SSI and RADS-2 using Cronbach alpha method. Linear regression was used to answer the research questions and t-test associated with linear regression was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.  The result indicated that both emotional and instrumental social support significantly predict depressed in-school adolescents with bullying experience to a high extent. Based on the results, it was recommended that Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and Non-Governmental Organizations should be active and supportive in providing essential materials and required information through an established platform targeted to curb the new wave of bullying behaviour making in-school adolescents depressed, Parents, teachers, friends and other important persons should always encourage preventive measures and proactive approach with a broader focus on giving attention, help and support to the emotional and physical need of in-school adolescents in case of any subjected psychological problems and violent experience, Ebonyi State government should collaborate with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other international organizations in making sure that necessary policies and efforts towards ameliorating bullying and psychological problems such as depression affecting in-school adolescents is highly and practically implemented among others.

Abstract 77 | pdf Downloads 42


1. Adimora, D.E., Ogba, F.N., Omeje, M.O., Amaze, F.E., & Adene, F.M. (2021). Social support as correlate of depression among people living with Hiv/ Aids in Nigeria. Afr.Healh sci. 21(3),1016-1026. Retrieved from
2. Agulanna, G.G. (2014). Issues in adolescence: Gender issues, deviant behaviour and moral values. Journal of Nigeria council of educational psychologists, 8 (1), 9-21.
3. Alsubaie, M.M., Stain, H.J., Webster, L.A., &Wadman, R. (2019). The role of sources of social support on depression and quality of life for university students. International journal of adolescence and youth, 24 (1), 484-496.
4. Aluede, O. (2011). Managing bullying problems in Nigeria secondary schools: Source counselling interventions for implementation. The African symposium.
5. Aluede, O. Adeleke, F., Omoike, D., & Afen-Akpaida, J. (2008). A review of the extent, nature, characteristics and effect of bullying behaviour in schools. Retrieved from http://www. Free
6. Anjum, An, Hossain, S., Sikder, T.M., Uddin, E.M., & Albdulrahim, D. (2019). Investigating the prevalence of and factors associated with depressive symptoms among urban and semi-urban school adolescents in Bangladeshi: A pilot study. International health, 20 (1), 1-9.
7. Bahls, S.(2002). Epidemiology of depressive symptoms in adolescents of a public school in curitiba, Brazil. Retrieved from https://
8. Birmaher, B., Ryan, N.D., Williamson, D.E. Brent, D.A., Kaufman, J., & Dahl, R.E. et al., (1996). Childhood and adolescent depression: A review of the past ten years. Part I.J.Am Acad child adolescence psychiatry, 35: 1427-39.
9. Boulton, M.J., & Underwood, K. (1992). Bullying/victim problems among middle school children. Journal of educational psychology, 62 (1), 73-87.
10. Chinawa, J.M., Manyike, P.C., Obu, H.A., Aronu, A.E., Odutola, O., & Chinawa, A.T. (2015). Depression among adolescents attending secondary schools in South Eastern Nigeria. Am. Afr. Med. 14 (2), 46-51.
11. Costello, E.J., Erkanli, A., & Angold, A.(2006). Is there an epidemic of child or adolescent depression? Journal of child psychology and psychiatry. 47: 1263-1271.
12. Due, P., Holstein, B.E.,& Soc, M.S. (2008). Bullying victimization among 13 to 15 year old school children: Results from two comparative studies in 66 countries and region. Int. J. adolescence med. Health, 20 (1), 209-21.
13. Edwards, L. (2004). Measuring perceived social support in Mexican American youths: Psychometric properties of the multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Hispanic journal of behavioural sciences, 26 (1), 187-194.
14. Egbochuku, E.O.(2007). Bullying in Nigeria schools: Prevalence study and implication for counseling. J. soc. Sc. 14 (1),65-71.
15. Eneremadu, I.U. (2011). Predicting bully and victim status in junior secondary school students in Owerri Municipal Council. Unpublished masters’ dissertation, Imo State university, Owerri.
16. Ezema, V.S., Ejiofor, J.N., Orji. J.C., Okenyi, E.C., Achagh, W.I., Ibiam, J.I., Ugwuanyi, C.S., llechukwu, L.C., & Nnadi, E.M. (2019). Estimation of the predictive powers of teachers’ pedagogical skills on pupils’ academic achievement in Christian Religious Studies in
South-East, Nigeria. Global Journal of Health Science, 11(14), 30-36
17. Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F.I & Verloove- vanhorick, S.P. (2005). Bullying: Who does what, when and where? Involvement of children, teachers and parents in bullying behaviour. Health education resource, 20 (1), 81-91.
18. Flemming, L.C., & Jacobsen, K.H. (2010). Bullying among middle-school students in low and middle income countries. Health promotion int., 25: 73-84.
19. Gana, C.S.; Ugwuanyi, C.S, & Ageda, T.A (2019). Students’ psychological predictors of academic achievement in physics. International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS), 3(9), 23-28.
20. Hunt, C., Peters, L., & Rapee, R.M. (2012). Development of a measure of the experience of being bullied in youth. Psychological assessment, 24 (1), 156-165.
21. Hymel, S., Rocke-Henderson, N., & Bonanno, R.A (2005). Moral disengagement: A framework for understanding bullying among adolescents. Journal of social science (special issue) 2 (1), 86- 102.
22. Khasakhala, L.I., Ndetei, D.M., Mutiso, V., Mbwayo, A.W., & Mathai, M. (2012). The prevalence of depression symptoms among adolescents in Nairobi public secondary schools: Association with perceived maladaptive parental behaviour. African journal of psychology, 15 (1), 106-113.
23. Kim, T.H., Connolly, J.A., & Tamim, H. (2014). The effect of social support around pregnancy on postpartum depression among Canadian teen mothers and adult mothers in the maternity experiences survey. BMC pregnancy and child birth, 14, 162.doi: 10.1186/147-2393-14-162.
24. King, A., Wold, B., Tudor-Smith, C., & Yossi, H. (1996). The health of youth. A cross national survey. WHO regional publications: European series number 6, Canada.
25. Kleiman, E.M., & Riskind, J.H. (2013). Utilized social support and self-esteem mediate the relationship between perceived social support and suicide ideation: A test of a multiple mediator model crisis: Journal of crisis intervention and suicide prevention, 34 (1),42-49.
26. Klomek, A.B., Marrocco, F., Kleinman, M., Schnonfeld, I., & Gould, M. (2007). Bullying, depression and suicide in adolescents, JAACAP, 46 (1), 40-49.
27. Kubwalo, H.W., Muula, A.S., Siziya, S., Pasupulati, S., & Rudatsikira, E. (2009). Prevalence and correlates of being bullied among in-school adolescents in Malawi: Results from the 2009 global school-health survey. Malawi med. J. 25: 12-4.
28. Lakey, B., & Orehek, E. (2011). Relational regulation theory: A new approach to explain the link between perceived social support and mental health. Psychological review, 118 (3), 482-495.
29. Liang, H., Flisher, A.J. & Lombard, C.J. (2007). Bullying, violence and risk behaviour in South African school students. Child abuse journal 31: 161-171.
30. Lilly, J., Cullen, F. & Ball, R.(1995). Criminological theory: context and consequences (2nd ed.), thousand oaks, CA: Sage publications.
31. Lindner, E. (2003). The theory of humiliation: A summary. Human dignity and humiliation studies. Retrieved from http://www. theory summary.pdf.
32. Logsdon, M.C., & Koniak-Griffin, D. (2005). Social support in postpartum guidelines for nursing assessments and intervention. Journal of Obstetric Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing, 34 (6), 761-768.
33. Manga, D., Abella, V., Barrio, S., &Alvarez, A (2007). Tiposde Adolescents seguna soledad yel Acoso EscolarPercibido : Differncies en personalidad yapoyo social. Tipica bulletin electronico the sqlud escolar, 3 (1), 12-20.
34. Nansel, T., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R., Ruan, W., Simons-Mortin, B., & Scheidt, P.(2001). Bullying behaviour among US youth: Prevalence and association with poor adjustment. JAMA 285: 2094-2100.
35. National centre for education statistics (2013). Fast facts: School crime. Retrieved from
36. National crime prevention council (2013). Bullying: information and resources to help prevent the serious problem of bullying. Retrieved from http:// www.
37. National education association (2012). Our position and actions of school safety: Bullying and harassment. Retrieved from home/19535.htm.
38. Ngo, AT., Nguyen, L.H., Dang, A.K., Hoang, M.T., Nguyen, TH., Vu, .G.T., et al.(2021). Bullying experience in urban adolescents: prevalence and correlations with health- related quality of life and psychological issues. Plos ONE 16 (6): e025245a. Retrieved from
39. Njoku, J.N.& Obogo, G.O. (2017). Prevalence of depression and its relationship with drug abuse among senior secondary school students in Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Niger. Global journal of educational research, 16 (1), 155-161.
40. Nwokocha, A.R.,& Olatunya, O.S. (2016). Adolescence and associated problems. In Azubuike Jc and Nkanginieme K.E.O., eds paediatrics and child health in a tropical region 3rd edition: Educational printing and publishing, Lagos, Nigeria, pp 734-753.
41. Olweus,D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what can we do. Blackwell publishers, oxford, England.
42. Okenyi, E. C., Ngwoke, A. N., Ugwu, G.C., Aneke, A.O., Ifelunni, C. O., Ebizie, E.N., Orji, J. C., Ejiofor, J.N., Njoku, C.O., Ezema, V. S., Achagb, W. L., Ibiam, J. U. & Ugwuanyi, C. S. (2019). Estimation of the predictive powers of parental support and domestic
violence on child abuse among primary school pupils in South-East, Nigeria. Global Journal of Health Science 11(14), 23-29.
43. Okenyi, E.C., Ngwoke, A.N., & Ugwuanyi, C.S. (2021). Exposure to domestic Violence as a correlate of pupils’ achievement in Basic Science in Enugu State: Implications for Educational Evaluators. Journal of Critical Reviews, 8(2), 414-421.
44. Orji, E.I., Madu, B.C., Ugwuanyi, C.S., Cyril. M., Orefor, J.A., Ogundeji, O.M., Elejere, U.C., Omeke, N.E., Zudonu, O.C., Ikwut, E.F. (2023). Path Analysis of Situational Affective
Characteristics on Conceptual Change of Students Exposed to Discrepant Events
Instruction in Sound Waves. Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results, 14 (3), 2663-2679.
45. Owusu, A., Hart, P., Oliver, B., & Kang, M. (2011).The association between bullying and psychological health among senior high school students in Ghana, West Africa. J. sch. Health. 81:231-8.
46. Peets, K., Hodges, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Relationship specificity of aggressogenic thought-behaviour processes. Journal of personality and social psychology, 101(2), 386-400. D0i: 10.1037/a0023662.
47. Perou, R., Bitsko, R.H., Blumber, S.J., Pastor, P., Ghandour, R.M., & Gfroerer, J.C., et al.(2013). Mental health surveillance among children in united states from 2005-2011. MMWR surveillance. Sum. 62: 1-35.
48. Peterson, A.C., Compass, B.E., Brooks-Gunn, J., Stemmlier, M., Ey, S., & Grant, K.E (1993). Depression in adolescence. American journal of psychology, 48: 155-168.
49. Ping, G. (2013). Bullying, depression and suicidal behaviours in adolescents: Secondary analysis of youth risk behaviour survey data, centre for disease control (CDC), 1(1),1-81.
50. Postigo, S., Gonzalez, R., Montoya, I., & Ordonez, A. (2013) Theoretical proposals in bullying research: A review. Anales de Psicologia, 29 (2), 413-425. Doi: 10.6018/analesps.29214825.
51. Reynolds, C.R. (2002). Adolescents depression scale: A self-report screening measure 2nd edition circle pines: MN: American guidance system publishing.
52. Ringda, R., Bjornsen, H.N., Espnes, G.A., Eilertsen, M.EB. &Moksnes, U.K. (2021). Bullying, social support and adolescents’ mental health: Result from a follow-up study. Scandinavian journal of public health, 49 (3), 309-316.. doi. 10.1177/1403494820921666.
53. Roland, E. (2002). Aggression, depression and bullying others. Aggressive behaviour, 28: 198-206.
54. Rothon., C., Head, J., Klineberg, E. & Stansfeld, S. (2011). Can social support protect bullied adolescents from adverse outcome? A prospective study on the effects of bullying on the educational achievement and mental health of adolescents at secondary schools in East London. Journal of adolescence, 34 (3), 579-88. Doi.10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.02.007 epub 2010. 16.
55. Rueger, S., Malecki, C., & Demaray, M. (2008). Gender diffrences in the relationship between perceived social support and student adjustment during early adolescence. School psychology quarterly, 23 (4), 496-514.
56. Salovery, P., Rothman, A.J., Detweiler, J.B., & Steward, W.T .(2000). Emotional stress and physical health. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.n/
57. Siziya, S., Rudatsikira, E., & Muula, A.S.(2012). Victimization from bullying among school attending adolescents in grades 7 to 10 in Zambia. J. inj. Violence res. 4: 30-5.
58. Thornberg, R. (2010). Victimizing of bullying: A grounded theory. Retrieved from http://www.eera-ecereu/ecer-programmes/conference/ecer.2010/contribution/1188-2/?no-cache=1
59. Timmerman, IG., Emanuels, Zuurveen, E.S.& Emmelkamp,P.M.G. (2000). The social support inventory (SSI): A brief scale to assess perceived adequacy of social support. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 7 (5), 401-410.
60. Uba, I. (2014). Effect of self-esteem on the relationship between depression and bullying among teenagers in Malaysia. Retrieved from http//:
61. Uchino, B. (2004). Social support and physical health: understanding the health consequences of relationships. New haven, CT., Yale University press.
62. Ugwuanyi, C. C., Metu, C. A., Nzeakor, E. C., Odo, I. O., Okeke, A. M., Osakwe, I. J., ... & Ugwuanyi, C. S. Teachers’ self-regulation and sociability as predictors of students’ academic achievement in bearing and distances. Eur. Chem. Bull. 2023,12(Special issue 8), 7928-7937
63. Ugwuanyi, C. S., Okeke C. O., & Ageda T. A., (2020). Psychological predictors of physics learners’ achievement: The moderating influence of gender. Cypriot Journal of Educational Science. 15(4), 834-842. DOI: 10.18844/cjes.v%vi%i.4635.
URL:file:///C:/Users/2019875836/Downloads/4635-Article%20Text-21136-3-10- 20200831.pdf
64. Ugwuanyi, C. S., Okeke C. O., & Ageda T. A., (2020). Psychological predictors of physics learners’ achievement: The moderating influence of gender. Cypriot Journal of Educational Science. 15(4), 834-842. DOI: 10.18844/cjes.v%vi%i.4635.
65. Ugwuanyi, C.S., Okeke, C.I.O. & Njeze, K.C. (2020). Parenting Style and Parental Support on Learners’ Academic Achievement. Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, 11(3-4): 198-205.
66. Ugwuanyi, C. S., Okeke, C.I.O. & Asomugha, C.G., (2020). Prediction of learners’ mathematics performance by their emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences. 15(3), 492- 501.
67. United nations children’s fund (2012). Progress for children: A report card on adolescents. Retrieved from http;//www. Retrieved from for children-no-10-en-04272012pdf.
68. Wang, J., Lannotti, R.J., & Nansel, T.R. (2010). Co-occurrence of victimization from five subtypes of bullying: physical, verbal, social exclusion, spreading rumors, and cyber. Journal of pediatric psychology, 35: 1103-1112.
69. Whitney, I., & Smith, P.K. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. Edu. Res. 35: 3-25.
70. WHO (2010).Prevention of bullying-related morbidity and mortality: A call for public health policies. Bulletin of the world health organization, 88 (11), 403-413.
71. Wontzel, K.R. (2017). Peer relationships, motivation, and academic performance at school.
72. World health organization (2008). 10 facts on adolescents health, slide 1, who. Retrieved from http:// www.who. Int/features/factfiles/adolescent-healh/facts/en/index.
73. World Health Organization (2012). Introduction to adolescence and adolescents’ health. Paper presented at training course in sexual and reproductive health research. Retrieved from WHO-2012htm