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08-10-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 2/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2019

It Gets Better: Attenuated Associations Between Latent Classes of Peer Victimization and Longitudinal Psychosocial Outcomes in Four Low-Resource Countries

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 2/2019
Amanda J. Nguyen, Catherine P. Bradshaw, Lisa Townsend, Alden Gross, Judith Bass


Very few studies of peer victimization have been conducted in low-resource countries, where cultural and contextual differences are likely to influence the dynamics of these experiences in ways that may reduce the generalizability of findings of the larger body of literature. Most studies in these settings are also subject to multiple design limitations that restrict our ability to understand the dynamics of peer victimization experiences. Person-centered approaches such as latent class analysis are an improvement on more traditional modeling approaches as they allow exploration of patterns of victimization experiences. The goal of the current study was to examine associations between patterns of peer victimization in adolescence and both concurrent and longitudinal psychosocial adjustment. Data were included for 3536 youth (49.6% female) in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam to examine associations between adolescent peer victimization and indicators of poor psychosocial adjustment. Previously derived latent classes of peer victimization based on youth self-report of past-year exposure to nine forms of peer victimization at age 15 were used to predict self-reported emotional difficulties, self-rated health, and subjective wellbeing at ages 15 and 19 while controlling for sex. The findings show that at age 15, victimization was associated with higher emotional difficulties in all settings, lower subjective wellbeing in all except Peru, and lower self-rated health in Vietnam. At follow-up, all associations had attenuated and were largely non-significant. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these results. These findings illustrate the multifinality of outcomes of peer victimization, suggesting social and developmental influences for potential pathways of resilience that hold promise for informing interventions and supports in both low and high resource settings.

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