Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 12-16-2023


Bullying adversely impacts the well-being and development of youth, calling for a comprehensive understanding of its neurobehavioral and social mechanisms for targeted interventions. Despite the increasing demographic of Latino children, little is known about their early life experiences and individual traits that leave them susceptible to becoming targets of bullying. The present study utilized a mixed-methods design to address this gap, incorporating interviews, neuropsychological assessments, and resting-state EEG (rsEEG) spectral power within the alpha (8-13Hz) and theta (4-7Hz) frequency bands. The aim was to compare the cognitive, emotional, social, and neural characteristics of nine Latino Targets (LT) of bullying and nine Latino Non-Targets (LNT) aged 9-15 years. The results indicated that LT mothers experienced greater prenatal stressors and language barriers, often prioritizing academics over social interactions compared to LNT mothers. LT exhibited behavioral inhibition, delayed peer socialization, and emotional regulation difficulties and faced significant adverse experiences. Compared to LNT, the more severe LT cases had significant deficits in visual perception, memory recall, and executive functioning. No significant group differences in rsEEG spectral power were observed. These findings underscore the importance of developing interventions to enhance LT’s social, executive functioning, and visuospatial skills. Future research should further investigate the relationships between social skills, cognitive abilities, and brain spectral activity in relation to bullying experiences. Understanding these unique characteristics is essential for creating environments that support the well-being and resilience of Latino youth against bullying.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Kristina T. Rewin Ciesielski, PhD

Second Committee Member

Jan Armstrong, PhD

Third Committee Member

Sarah Erickson, PhD

Fourth Committee Member

Julia M. Stephen, PhD

Fifth Committee Member

Davood Tofighi, PhD


Bullying, Targets of Bullying, rsEEG, Neuropsychological assessment, visuospatial skills, social skills, Latino youth

Document Type


Available for download on Tuesday, December 16, 2025

Included in

Psychology Commons