SourceJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 3, (2015), pp. 456-470
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
The purpose of the study was to examine stability, correlates, and time-covarying associations of peer victimization. The total sample size was 1,206 adolescents (Mage at initial time point=9.74 years, SD=.60; 59.5% White, 21.6% African American, 12.9% Hispanic American, 6% Other/Unknown) followed across 9 yearly waves of data collection from elementary school through middle and high school (Grades 4-12). In each year, peer victimization was assessed with peer nominations; externalizing behavior, peer sociability, and school competence were assessed with teacher ratings; and internalizing behavior was assessed with self-reports. High stability of peer victimization was found across the 9 years of the study. Victimization correlated positively with externalizing and internalizing behaviors and negatively with peer sociability and school competence in the elementary school years, whereas only the association with peer sociability remained significant throughout the middle and high school years. Growth curve modeling showed that victimization, as a time-varying predictor across Grades 4 to 12, significantly predicted the level of each outcome measure at the end of the trajectory, and the rate of change leading up to this end point. Gender differences were found for each of the main results. The results of the current study highlight the importance of developing a long-term dynamic view and understanding of the emergence of peer victimization and its related consequences across childhood and adolescence. Although peer victimization is strongly linked to a variety of adjustment problems in elementary school, these associations seem to become weaker in middle and high school.
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