ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (2): 170-181.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00170

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


刘晓薇, 潘斌, 陈亮, 李腾飞, 纪林芹, 张文新()   

  1. 山东师范大学儿童青少年发展研究院, 山东师范大学心理学院, 济南 250014
  • 收稿日期:2020-05-12 出版日期:2021-02-25 发布日期:2020-12-29
  • 通讯作者: 张文新
  • 基金资助:

Healthy context paradox in the association between bullying victimization and externalizing problems: The mediating role of hostile attribution bias

LIU Xiaowei, PAN Bin, CHEN Liang, LI Tengfei, JI Linqin, ZHANG Wenxin()   

  1. Research Institute of Child and Adolescent Development, School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Received:2020-05-12 Online:2021-02-25 Published:2020-12-29
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenxin


“健康环境悖论”是指在总体受欺负水平较低的环境中, 受欺负的个体会表现出更多适应问题。本研究以来自47个班级的1764名5年级到8年级学生为被试(男生956人, 平均年龄14.46岁), 考察了班级平均受欺负水平在个体受欺负经历与外化问题间的调节作用及敌意性归因的中介作用。结果发现:(1)受欺负与外化问题的关系存在“健康环境悖论”现象, 即班级平均受欺负水平能调节个体受欺负经历与外化问题的关系, 在班级平均受欺负水平较低的班级中受欺负经历与外化问题的关联更强; (2)班级平均受欺负水平对受欺负与外化问题的调节作用通过敌意性归因的中介作用实现。本研究证实了受欺负与外化问题的健康环境悖论现象, 并首次揭示了敌意性归因的中介作用机制。

关键词: 健康环境悖论, 受欺负, 外化问题, 班级平均受欺负水平, 敌意性归因


Bullying victimization represents the experience of being the target of aggression by one or several peers while not being able to defend oneself. This phenomenon has high prevalence among children and youth, with approximately 32% school-aged children across the world being bullied by their class- or schoolmates. Exposure to bullying victimization puts children at risk for a variety of social-psychological maladjustment, both internalizing and externalizing. However, the likelihood of victimization leading to maladjustment might vary across contexts. Recent research found that victims were more likely to be maladjusted in relatively healthier contexts (i.e. classrooms with low overall levels of victimization) -- a phenomenon that has been referred to as the "healthy context paradox (HCP)". Specifically, extant studies found that victimized children were more likely to exhibit internalizing problems in classrooms with low levels of victimization. However, little is known about whether classroom-level victimization moderates the link between bullying victimization and externalizing problems.

More importantly, no empirical study has specifically examined the underlying mechanisms of HCP. According to the social information processing theory and existing studies, it is reasonable to assume that in relatively healthier contexts, victimized children are more likely to feel targeted by peers and develop a hostile attribution bias, which in turn leads to more externalizing problems. Therefore, hostile attribution bias, a tendency to attribute hostile intent to another person in ambiguous and even neutral situations, can be a potential mechanism explaining the paradoxical effect of classroom-level victimization on victim's externalizing behaviors.

The present study examined whether classroom-level victimization moderated such victimization-externalizing associations, and further examined the mediating role of children’s hostile attribution bias in the associations. The sample comprised 1764 fifth- to eighth- graders (956 boys, Mage = 14.46) from 47 classes in 5 schools in Shandong, China. Bullying victimization was assessed via the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Hostile attribution bias was measured through the Assessment of Intent Attributions for Ambiguous Provocation Situation. Externalizing problems were assessed on the Child Behavior Checklist-Youth Self-Report (CBCL-YSR). Classroom-level victimization was calculated by averaging individual bullying victimization scores for each classroom. All measures had good reliability and validity. Multi-level structural equation models were conducted to test the hypothesis.

The results revealed that: (1) after controlling for sex, parental education, grade, and class size, classroom-level victimization moderated the association between bullying victimization and externalizing problems, such that the victimization-externalizing association was stronger in classrooms with a lower level of victimization compared with those in the classrooms with a higher level of victimization; and (2) low levels of classroom-level victimization strengthened victims' hostile attribution bias, which in turn was associated with externalizing problems.

The present study has two major strengths. First, we extended the literature on the healthy context paradox by examining the role of classroom-level victimization in the victimization-externalizing association. In line with the hypothesis regarding the healthy context paradox, victimized children were more likely to exhibit externalizing problems in classrooms with a low level of victimization. Second, a mechanism regarding the healthy context paradox was identified, such that low classroom-level victimization had an impact on victims’ externalizing problems by increasing their hostile attribution bias. These findings highlight the importance of concentrating on specific victims and providing help for them in prevention/intervention practices. Specifically, to alleviate victims’ maladjustment, teachers and school counselors could take efforts to reduce their hostile attribution. Future studies would benefit from replicating these findings using a longitudinal design, and multiple informants to assess externalizing problems. Moreover, future studies need to test more possible explanations for the healthy context paradox.

Key words: healthy context paradox, bullying victimization, externalizing problems, classroom victimization, hostile attribution bias