Article Critique


September3, 2014.

Thestudy sought to investigate the effects of stressful situations suchas bullying on the physiological stress changes and response amongthe young adults. Past studies indicate that, human beings who arein their prime age of development are exposed to various forms ofsocial stressors that eventual leads to the development of mentaldisorders, depression and anxiety. As such, the study in this articleengaged preselected participants who had a history, or no history ofbullying were involved in the study. The study thesis is clear as itdefines the subject of study in relation to independent and dependentvariables (Hamilton, Newman &amp Delville, 2008).

Inaddition, the thesis seeks to expound a subject that has beenhistorically researched in order to ascertain the connection ofbullying and its effects on the development of the young adults.There intended audience of the study could be parents, teachers,counselors, clinicians or psychological therapists to inform themmore on the effects of bullying on the social wellbeing of the youngadults. The literature used in this study is relevant and sufficientin expounding the background scope of the study topic. In addition,the literature review gives more insights on physiological, physicaland psychological effects of stress among young adults (Hamilton,Newman &amp Delville, 2008).


Inthis study, the sample included undergraduate students selectedthrough psychological screening at the start of the semester.Participants who indicated series of bullying during the term wereselected as well as those students who indicated that they were neverbullied during the school semester. The overall sample included menand women who had been bullied and those who had never been bullied.In addition, the sample was ethnically diverse, and all participantswere at the average age of nineteen years. The study hypothesis wasthat there exists a strong correlation between peer victimization andphysiological disorders. Another hypothesis was that there exist asignificant difference in physiological response to stressors betweenthe males and the females. Data was collected through questionnairesbased on participants experience with bullying scenarios.Participants were required to write filler tasks and a creativitytest. The data was later analyzed using the ANOVA tests (Hamilton,Newman &amp Delville, 2008).

Theresults are fairly convincing in particular to psychological effectsof bullying such as anger. Although the study results purport to haveidentified a correlation between social stress and cardiovascularstress response rate, the study did not give convincing results onthe long-term effects of social stressors on development ofindividuals. However, the results and discussion on differences inthe stress reaction between males and females is convincing. Althoughthe evidence presented in the study is credible and relates tofindings of past studies, the results lack empirical assessment inorder to have some degree of affirmation.

Inparticular, the study was conducted on a limited time frame whichmeans that the effect of prolonged exposure to social stressors couldnot be well assessed. In the same line, the study evidence is weak inmaking correlations between women and men reaction to socialstressors (Hamilton, Newman &amp Delville, 2008). Furthermore, theevidence lacks authenticity as some participants may not accuratelyremember the extent of trauma experienced after peer victimization.


Thestudy conclusion is weak based on the overall discussion and evidencegiven in the study. While the study thesis has been well captured,the conclusion given based on the study results and literature reviewindicates some salient gaps. The evidence given is weak and does notaccount for empirical studies and as such one cannot conclusivelyargue that social stressors lead to long-term effects on thephysiological development of the young adults. In the same line, thestudy needs more time to ascertain succinctly that there exist adifference between males and female physiological response tostressors. One cannot agree with these tenets especially when someliterature on psychological studies indicates that women are moreprone to stress than men.

Inaddition, the study needs more time and studies to delineate thephysical and physiological effects of social stressors on humangrowth. Overall, I agree with the study hypothesis and design but theevidence given from the results is weak to support such a criticalthesis. The article was insightful in understanding how socialstressors could affect individuals’ physical and physiologicaldevelopment. In addition, the article was relevant in highlightingthe differences that exist between men and women in their response tosocial stressors. The article is relevant for psychology course forstudents, counselors and teachers.


Hamilton,L. D., Newman, M. L., Delville, C. L., &amp Delville, Y. (2008).Physiological stress response of young adults exposed to bullyingduring adolescence. Physiology &amp behavior, 95(5), 617-624.