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01-08-2014 | Uitgave 6/2014

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2014

When Trust Fails: The Relation Between Children’s Trust Beliefs in Peers and their Peer Interactions in a Natural Setting

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 6/2014
Ken J. Rotenberg, Pamela Qualter, Nicola L. Holt, Rebecca A. Harris, Peter Henzi, Louise Barrett
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10802-013-9835-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

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Author Name Ken J. Rotenberg
Article Title When Trust Fails: The Relation Between Children’s Trust Beliefs in Peers and the Quality of their Peer Interactions in a Natural Setting
Author Signature Ken J. Rotenberg Date: July 31, 2013


One hundred and forty-nine 8–11 year-old children (86 males; M = 9 years - 4 months and SD = 7 months) from the UK were administered the Trust Beliefs in Peers scale and were observed in the playground over one school year. Quadratic relations were found between trust beliefs in peers and peer interaction, which varied by gender. Compared to girls with the middle range of trust beliefs, girls with very low beliefs and those with very high beliefs (a) were less accepted/more rejected by the peer group (i.e., lower group interaction, and greater negatively received bids), (b) showed greater indirect aggression (engaged in and received), (c) showed greater non-engagement (i.e., being alone), and (d) showed greater concomitant distress. Compared to children with the middle range of trust beliefs, children with those extreme trust beliefs in peers demonstrated greater direct aggression (engaged in and received) and showed passive behavior (for boys only). The findings supported the conclusion that children, primarily girls, who trust peers too little and those who trust too much are at risk for psychosocial maladjustment.

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