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Dynamic Changes in Peer Victimization and Adjustment Across Middle School: Does Friends’ Victimization Alleviate Distress?

Published on Sep 1, 2019in Child Development
· DOI :10.1111/cdev.13038
Hannah L. Schacter8
Estimated H-index: 8
(SC: University of Southern California),
Jaana Juvonen38
Estimated H-index: 38
(UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)
Abstract
Although some adolescents are chronically bullied throughout middle school, others may only experience peer victimization temporarily. This study examined the effects of time-invariant (average level) and time-varying (year-to-year) victimization experiences across middle school on adolescents' depressive symptoms, somatic complaints, and self-blame. A key question was whether friends' victimization buffered students from their victimization-related distress. The diverse sample (n = 5,991) was surveyed four times between sixth and eighth grade (Mage at sixth grade = 11.54 years). Three-level multilevel models revealed both time-invariant and time-varying effects of victimization on adjustment, but these maladaptive associations were attenuated when adolescents' friends experienced more victimization across middle school. The results suggest that even temporarily victimized youth may have unmet mental health needs, and sharing social plight with friends can protect victims. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
  • References (48)
  • Citations (8)
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References48
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#1Jaana Juvonen (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 38
#2Kara Kogachi (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 2
Last. Sandra Graham (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 57
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The effects of school-based ethnic diversity on student well-being and race-related views were examined during the first year in middle school. To capture the dynamic nature of ethnic exposure, diversity was assessed both at the school-level (n = 26) and based on academic course enrollments of African American, Asian, Latino, and White students (n = 4,302; M = 11.33 years). Across all four pan-ethnic groups, school-level ethnic diversity was associated with lower sense of vulnerability (i.e., fe...
25 CitationsSource
#1Claire F. Garandeau (UU: Utrecht University)H-Index: 10
#2Ihno A. Lee (Stanford University)H-Index: 13
Last. Christina Salmivalli (UTU: University of Turku)H-Index: 54
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Sharing a classroom environment with other victimized peers has been shown to mitigate the adverse effects of peer victimization on children’s social and psychological adjustment. By extension, this study hypothesized that classroom reductions in the proportion of victims would be harmful for children who remain victimized. Data were collected at the end of 2 subsequent school years from 4,466 fourth- to sixth-graders (mean age = 11 years), as part of the implementation of the Finnish anti-bully...
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#1Gary W. Ladd (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 58
#2Idean Ettekal (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 10
Last. Becky Kochenderfer-Ladd (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 18
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This investigation’s aims were to map prevalence, normative trends, and patterns of continuity or change in school-based peer victimization throughout formal schooling (i.e., Grades K–12), and determine whether specific victimization patterns (i.e., differential trajectories) were associated with children’s academic performance. A sample of 383 children (193 girls) was followed from kindergarten (Mage = 5.50) through Grade 12 (Mage = 17.89), and measures of peer victimization, school engagement,...
38 CitationsSource
#1Leslie Echols (MSU: Missouri State University)H-Index: 5
#2Sandra Graham (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 57
As children approach early adolescence, the risk of peer victimization often increases. Many children experience some form of peer victimization during this time, but children who experience chronic victimization may be particularly vulnerable to adjustment difficulties. Thus, identifying risk and protective factors associated with chronic victimization continues to be an important area of research. This study examined the effect of change in the victimization of friends on change in children’s ...
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#1J. Loes Pouwels (Radboud University Nijmegen)H-Index: 6
#2Pierre M. Souren (Radboud University Nijmegen)H-Index: 9
Last. Antonius H. N. Cillessen (Radboud University Nijmegen)H-Index: 49
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A meta-analysis was conducted of 77 longitudinal studies that contained at least one over-time correlation (range 1 to 36) between scores for peer victimization measured at different time points. The overall stability of self-reported peer victimization was determined at centered values (age 10, one-year interval). The effects of interval length, age, and type of informant (self, peer, teacher, other/combined) on the stability of victimization were also examined. Moderate overall stability of se...
23 CitationsSource
#1Mitchell J. Prinstein (UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)H-Index: 54
#2Matteo Giletta (Tilburg University)H-Index: 9
Peers provide a context in which child and adolescent development occurs. Peers may right wayward developmental trajectories, buffering the effects of deleterious risk factors. Adverse peer experiences also may distort developmental pathways, contributing to psychopathology. Numerous distinct peer constructs that signal developmental perturbations have been identified and associated with indices of psychopathology. This chapter reviews peer experiences in early childhood (i.e., social withdrawal...
20 CitationsSource
#1Hannah L. Schacter (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 8
#2Jaana Juvonen (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 38
The current study examined school-level victimization as a moderator of associations between peer victimization and changes in 2 types of self-blaming attributions, characterological and behavioral, across the first year of middle school. These associations were tested in a large sample (N = 5,991) of ethnically diverse adolescents from fall to spring of the 6th-grade year across 26 schools. Consistent with hypotheses, the results of multilevel modeling indicated that victimized youth showed gre...
21 CitationsSource
#1Hannah L. Schacter (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 8
#2Samantha J. White (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 1
Last. Jaana Juvonen (UCLA: University of California, Los Angeles)H-Index: 38
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This study examines the role of characterological self-blame as a unique risk factor associated with other known risk factors (depression and its behavioral and social correlates) for continued victimization across the 1st year of middle school. Relying on a large, ethnically diverse sample of 1,698 young adolescents (Mage = 11.57, SD = .39; 55% female), self-report assessments in the fall and spring included perceptions of victim status, depressive symptoms, friendships, aggression, and respons...
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#1Katharine H. Zeiders (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 21
#2Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 42
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The current study examined the longitudinal relations of socio-cultural stressors (i.e., acculturative stressors, enculturative stressors, ethnic discrimination) and Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ depressive symptoms and risk-taking behaviors. Utilizing an idiographic and nomothetic approach, we conducted lagged analyses to examine how individuals’ fluctuations in stressors predicted subsequent adjustment. Further, we investigated potential threshold effects by examining if the impact of flu...
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#2Cixin Wang (UCR: University of California, Riverside)H-Index: 11
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Involvement in bullying and victimization has been mostly studied using cross-sectional data from 1 time point. As such, much of our understanding of bullying and victimization has not captured the dynamic experiences of youth over time. To examine the change of latent statuses in bullying and victimization, we applied latent transition analysis examining self-reported bullying involvement from 1,180 students in 5th through 9th grades across 3 time points. We identified unobserved heterogeneous ...
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#1Hannah L. Schacter (WSU: Wayne State University)H-Index: 8
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Although high-quality friendships are presumed to protect peer-victimized adolescents from distress, evidence supporting this claim is mixed. This study investigated whether the protective function...
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#1Tessa M. L. Kaufman (UG: University of Groningen)H-Index: 3
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The present research examined how school contexts shape the extent to which beliefs about the potential for change (implicit theories) interact with social adversity to predict depressive symptoms. A preregistered multilevel regression analysis using data from 6,237 ninth-grade adolescents in 25 U.S. high schools showed a three-way interaction: Implicit theories moderated the associations between victimization and depressive symptoms only in schools with high levels of school-level victimization...
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#1Molly Dawes (USC: University of South Carolina)H-Index: 6
#2Sarah Malamut (SC: University of Southern California)H-Index: 2
Traditionally, victims were seen as weak, disempowered youth who typically had low-status in the peer hierarchy. However, accumulating evidence suggests that victimization experiences are not limited to those with low-status and that high-status adolescents may also be at risk. This review outlines a theoretical framework that explains high-status youth’s risk for victimization using evolutionary psychological, social dominance, and related perspectives which suggest that those with access to de...
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Although numerous studies have established linkages between shyness and later psychological difficulties, most extant research did not examine variation in shyness over time in relation to variation in psychological difficulties over time or possible environmental factors of influence outside of the school context. The current study used multi-level modelling to simultaneously examine time-invariant and time-variant associations between shyness, the psychological difficulties of depressive sympt...
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