Can You be Vaccinated from Teasing? A Retrospective Study of Teasing History and Current Self Esteem Levels
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Teasing is prevalent throughout the lives of most individuals beginning in childhood. Teasing can be a positive "pro-social" interaction, or a negative "anti-social" experience. Childhood teasing on the "anti-social" level has been show to have detrimental effects on an individual's self-esteem and has been linked to increased psychological distress in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an individual's environment, as defined by his or her teasing history with their peers and families, at different stages during their development on their level of self-esteem. Two hundred and three adult participants completed a questionnaire packet designed to measure teasing history, self-esteem, and perceived social support from family and peers. Results indicated that negative teasing interactions were related to lower reported levels of self-esteem. Negative teasing from one's family during elementary school and negative teasing from one's peers during middle school were found to have the greatest influence on current self-esteem levels. Results also showed that early and concurrent exposure to teasing at the pro-social level during elementary school could negate the later influence future anti-social teasing might have on one's self esteem levels. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are presented.
Hershberger, John Michael (2011). Can You be Vaccinated from Teasing? A Retrospective Study of Teasing History and Current Self Esteem Levels. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from