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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Oct;75(4):1076-86.

Victimization by peers: associations with children's reports of mother-child interaction.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton 33431, USA.


Children who are chronically victimized by peers are at risk for personal difficulties. This study examined whether victimization is associated with mother-child interaction at home. Preadolescents (N = 184; mean age = 11.7 years) reported on their mother's child-rearing practices and on how they cope during conflicts with their mother. Peers reported on victimization at school. Sex-specific links between perceived family interaction and peer victimization were found. For boys, victimization was associated with perceived maternal overprotectiveness, especially when boys reported reacting with fear during mother-child conflict. For girls, victimization was associated with perceived maternal rejection and with girls' reports of aggressive coping during mother-child conflict. Results support the theory that parenting that hinders children's development of gender-salient competencies (autonomy for boys and communion for girls) places children at risk for peer victimization.

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