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01-06-2013 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 6/2013

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2013

Longitudinal Associations of Electronic Aggression and Victimization with Social Standing During Adolescence

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2013
Daryaneh Badaly, Brynn M. Kelly, David Schwartz, Karen Dabney-Lieras


Prior empirical work has documented that the dynamics of social standing can play a critical role in the perpetration and receipt of aggression during adolescence. Recently, investigators have emphasized the emergence of new, electronic modalities for aggressive acts. Our longitudinal project therefore considered electronic forms of aggression and victimization as correlates of social standing. We recruited 415 ninth grade students (53 % female) from a high school in Southern California. In the spring of two consecutive school years, participants completed peer nominations assessing their social standing, aggression, and victimization. More popular youths were concurrently more electronically aggressive and victimized than their peers. Popularity also was associated with increases in electronic aggression over time. In turn, electronic aggression was related to increases in popularity for girls and decreases for boys. We additionally found concurrent, positive associations between social acceptance and electronic forms of aggression and victimization, although these effects held only at the first time point. Among adolescent males, social acceptance also was related to increases in electronic victimization over time. Overall, our results suggest that adolescents may rely on electronic aggression to establish and maintain a privileged position in their peer hierarchy. Our results additionally highlight that popular and accepted youths, who likely possess a large, digitally-connected social network, may be at increased risk for electronic victimization.

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