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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1999 Apr;76(4):677-85.

Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimization by peers.

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Department of Psychology, St. John's University, Jamaica, New York 11439, USA.


This study was designed to determine whether the personal and interpersonal difficulties that characterize victimized children are antecedents of victimization, consequences of victimization, or both. Boys and girls in the 3rd through 7th grades (N = 173, mean age = 11.3 years) were assessed on victimization, personal variables (internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and physical strength), and interpersonal variables (number of friends and peer rejection). One year later children were assessed again on all variables. Internalizing problems, physical weakness, and peer rejection contributed uniquely to gains in victimization over time. Moreover, initial victimization predicted increases in later internalizing symptoms and peer rejection. These reciprocal influences suggest the existence of a vicious cycle that supports the strong temporal stability of peer victimization.

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