Hazing experiences during the first year of college: associations with childhood bullying and other victimization exposures
Reid, Gerald Michael
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This exploratory study aimed to answer three research questions about the relationship between childhood victimization and being hazed during college. Secondary data analysis was conducted with a sample of first-year college students who completed a web-based survey during their fall and spring semesters. Forms of childhood victimization measured in this study include: bullying victimization, peer victimization (multiple forms and length), and exposure to other forms of victimization (e.g., parental abuse, dating abuse). Results support the hypothesis that students with a victimization history are more likely be hazed during college. Specifically, a chronic victimization history – exposure to multiple forms of peer victimization, longer peer victimization, and other forms of childhood victimization – was associated with an increased odds of being hazed during college. Results did not support the hypothesis that a sense of college belongingness would moderate the relationship between past victimization and hazing during college. There was partial support for the hypothesis that a victimization history would put students at risk for perceived negative effects of hazing. Childhood physical dating abuse, sexual assault, and exposure to other forms of childhood victimization were all positively associated with perceived negative consequences of hazing. Lastly, results found that exposure to other forms of childhood victimization moderates the relationship between being hazed during college and depression. Specifically, those with prior exposure to other forms of childhood victimization who are also hazed report lower depression scores than those with this victimization history who do not enter hazing initiations. These findings lend themselves to future research to better understand the relationships found between childhood victimization and hazing initiations during college. These findings also have practical implications for understanding the trajectory of previously victimized students. There are a number of limitations of the current study that can be addressed in future research.