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Youth experiencing anxiety and depression are more likely to be targeted aggressively by peers, making it critical that we understand how they respond to these challenging interpersonal situations. We addressed this issue by recruiting a school-based sample of lower-income youth (N = 327) in grades 6, 7, and 8 (M age =13.10, SD =0.99) to complete a multiple-choice measure asking them to select responses to 11 scenarios describing physical, relational, and verbal provocation by a peer. We found that increasing anxiety was negatively associated with endorsement of aggressive behaviors, whereas greater levels of depressive symptoms were linked to higher rates of aggressive responding, and, for girls, decreased endorsement of assertive strategies. Implications for understanding and intervening on social competence and psychopathology are discussed.
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- Youth’s Responses to Peer Provocation: Links to Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Melanie A. Dirks
Teresa A. Treat
V. Robin Weersing
- Springer US
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Print ISSN: 0882-2689
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3505