Toward the end of November, Lazo Dordeski, a post-undergraduate research assistant, presented his current manuscript, “Non-violent Behaviors and Depression in Victims and Perpetrators” which builds off of his previously conducted research in the FF-PTG Lab.
Prior research has indicated that individuals who identify as either victims or perpetrators were more likely to report experiences in bother, creating the Victim-Perpetrator Overlap [VPO]. VPO conceptualized the increase of offending at the risk of being a victim and victimization may increase the risk of becoming a perpetrator. The overlap can be observed across various violent and non-violent transgressions (i.e., petty theft to sexual violence). A relationship between depression and victims/perpetrators has been discovered in the populations of adolescent victims of bullying, patients with depression, and perpetrators clinically diagnosed with depression. Depressed patients had a higher prevalence of repeat victimization; while perpetrators had more risk factors for intimate partner violence.
The purpose of Dordeski’s study is to examine the differences between non-violent behaviors (i.e., racial slurs, stealing, and exclusion) and depression within both victims and perpetrators. Hypothesis 1 states that individuals who were only victims of having racial slurs used against them would show higher depression than perpetrators who only used racial slurs against others and those who experienced overlap which would show higher depression than those who experienced neither. Hypothesis 2 states that individuals who are only victims of exclusion will have higher levels of depression than individuals who experienced overlap, which would show higher levels of depression than perpetrators who only excluded others and those who experienced neither, which would report even levels of depression.
A total of 397 participants were used from the previously collected Smith (2020) study. Data was collected through the Qualtrics survey tool. Participants were randomly assigned to two conditions of answering questions about 1) perpetrator experiences first or 2) victim experiences first. The survey included responses to PTGI-X, filler scale questions, filled conditions, and repeated PTGI-X. Measures used for analysis were the Victimization and Perpetration Scale and Beck Depression Inventory through the statistical tests of one-way ANOVAs and post-hoc analyses using LSD. No significant differences between the perpetrator-only group and the group that didn’t experience either. Findings suggest that exclusion is impactful on reported feelings of depression among victims, even though some of them excluded others themselves.
Limitations identified by Dordeski included sample size with skewed distribution, college demographic, and measures that focused on more violent behavior. Potential future directions would be to make a greater emphasis on non-violent behaviors, focus on group differences and how this could increase victim/perpetrator susceptibility, and increase diversity/intersectional samples to improve external validity.
Congratulations, Lazo! We are proud to send you off to the next stage of your career. Dordeski will be attending the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Oakland University starting January 2023. Wishing you nothing but the best!