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29-08-2019 | Uitgave 2/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2/2020

Protecting Youth Against the Adverse Effects of Peer Victimization: Why Do Parents Matter?

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 2/2020
Karen D. Rudolph, Jennifer D. Monti, Haina Modi, Wing Yan Sze, Wendy Troop-Gordon
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Exposure to peer victimization is associated with a variety of adverse outcomes but there is individual variability in its effects, suggesting the need to identify why some youth are resilient in the face of victimization. This research examined whether (a) high-quality parent-child relationships protect youth against the effects of peer victimization on psychopathology (antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms); and (b) mitigation of social risks (deviant peer group affiliation and social helplessness) accounts for the protective effects of high-quality parent-child relationships. Youths (N = 636; 338 girls, 298 boys; Mage in 5th grade = 10.94; SD = 0.36) and their teachers completed survey measures at three annual waves across the transition to middle school (5th - 7th grade). Path analyses indicated that high-quality parent-child relationships attenuated the effects of pre-transition victimization on post-transition antisocial behavior, depressive symptoms, and social risks, with some effects differing by gender. As predicted, results suggested that the protective effect against antisocial behavior may operate through mitigated deviant peer group affiliation. This research identifies one key protective factor that contributes to resilience among victimized youth and suggests the importance of incorporating parental support into prevention programs for victimized youth.

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