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Child-level predictors of boys' and girls' trajectories of physical, verbal, and relational victimization

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For some children, peer victimization stops rather quickly, whereas for others it marks the beginning of a long trajectory of peer abuse (Kochenderfer-Ladd & Wardrop, 2001). Unfortunately, we know little

For some children, peer victimization stops rather quickly, whereas for others it marks the beginning of a long trajectory of peer abuse (Kochenderfer-Ladd & Wardrop, 2001). Unfortunately, we know little about these trajectories and what factors may influence membership in increasing or decreasing victimization over time. To address this question, I identified children's developmental patterns of victimization in early elementary school and examined which child-level factors influenced children's membership in victimization trajectories using latent growth mixture modeling. Results showed that boys and girls demonstrated differential victimization patterns over time that also varied by victimization type. For example, boys experienced more physical victimization than girls and increased victimization over time was predicted by boys who display high levels of negative emotion (e.g., anger) towards peers and low levels of effortful control (e.g., gets frustrated easily). Conversely, girls exhibited multiple trajectories of increasing relational victimization (i.e., talking about others behind their back) over time, whereas most boys experienced low levels or only slightly increasing relational victimization over time. For girls, withdrawn behavior lack of positive emotion, and displaying of negative emotions was predictive of experiencing high levels of victimization over time.

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  • 2015