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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (10) : 1151-1162     DOI:
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A Longitudinal Analysis of the Association Between Peer Victimization and Patterns of Psychosocial Adjustment During Middle and Late Childhood
JI Lin-Qin;CHEN Liang;XU Fu-Zhen;ZHAO Shou-Ying;ZHANG Wen-Xin
(1 School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
(2 School of Education Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China)
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Abstract  Considerable percentage of children experienced certain kinds or extent of peer victimization during childhood, which impelled researchers to explore the multiple negative impact of peer victimization on children’s psychosocial adjustment. However, the existing studies in this area employed variable-oriented approach and only revealed the averaged association between peer victimization and children’s psychosocial adjustment. Research in developmental psychopathology indicated that a particular risk may have different developmental implications for, and lead to different developmental outcomes on different individuals, which was referred as multifinality (Kerig & Wenar, 2006, p. 22). The Probabilistic Epigenesis (Gottlieb, 2007; Gottlieb & Willoughby, 2006) also suggested that the same antecedent would cause different outcomes of development because of reaction potential and interaction. Based on these theoretical perspectives, we expected that peer victimization – although the same kind of negative peer experience – would result in different kinds of maladjustment among different children, i.e. there were heterogeneity in the impact of peer victimization on children’s psychosocial adjustment. Besides, the existing literatures on peer victimization mainly focused on its physical form, and relatively less was known about the impact of relational victimization on children’s psychosocial adjustment. Using both variable-oriented and person-oriented approaches, the current study was to identify the developmental patterns of children’s psychosocial adjustment different children exhibited from middle to late childhood and explore the associations between peer victimization and developmental patterns of children’s psychosocial adjustment. The heterogeneity of the associations, and the immediate and prospective relationships between physical victimization and relational victimization and the different patterns of children’s psychosocial adjustment were emphasized.
1767 children from 40 classes of 14 primary schools in Jinan, a city in mid-east China were followed from age 9 to 11. A series of self-reported questionnaires were administered to tap the children’s experience of peer victimization, and feeling of loneliness and depression. The Aggression and Delinquency subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist were finished by the children’s mothers, and peer acceptance and rejection were obtained through peer nomination. All of the measures showed good reliability.
Significant correlations existed between the two forms of peer victimization and all indicators of children’s psychosocial adjustment. Using the standard residuals of each indicator of psychosocial adjustment for controlling the developmental stability of each of the indicators of the psychosocial adjustment, latent profile analysis (LPA) showed 4 developmental patterns of children’s psychosocial adjustment from middle to late childhood. That is internalizing, externalizing, peer rejection, and normal development patterns. Discriminant analysis (DA) indicated associations between peer victimization and the four patterns of psychosocial adjustment. Specifically, victimization (mainly the physical form) at age 9 was associated with the peer rejection pattern and externalizing pattern, and victimization (mainly the relational form) at age 11 with the internalizing and peer rejection patterns. These results indicated that peer victimization was associated with different patterns of psychosocial adjustment and not all children victimized by peers developed the same kind of psychosocial adjustment. Moreover, the effects of earlier and current victimization, and those of the physical and relational forms of victimization on psychosocial adjustment differed regarding to the different areas of psychosocial adjustment. Future directions in research on the associations between peer victimization and children’s psychosocial adjustment were discussed.
Corresponding Authors: ZHAO Shou-Ying;ZHANG Wen-Xin   
Issue Date: 30 October 2011
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JI Lin-Qin,CHEN Liang,XU Fu-Zhen,ZHAO Shou-Ying,ZHANG Wen-Xin. A Longitudinal Analysis of the Association Between Peer Victimization and Patterns of Psychosocial Adjustment During Middle and Late Childhood[J]. ,2011, 43(10): 1151-1162.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2011/V43/I10/1151
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