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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2002 Dec;30(6):599-607.

Relational and physical victimization within friendships: nobody told me there'd be friends like these.

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Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


In past research, relational and physical forms of peer victimization have been identified that have been shown to be significantly associated with social-psychological maladjustment. These forms of victimization, although studied primarily within the group peer context, also occur within dyadic relationships such as friendships. Gender differences in friend victimization and the association between friend victimization and children's social-psychological adjustment were examined. Results showed that boys were more physically victimized by their friends than were girls. Girls were more relationally than physically victimized by their friends. Friend victimization was related to adjustment difficulties for both boys and girls; however, friend physical victimization was particularly related to boys whereas friend relational victimization was particularly related to girls. The implications of these findings for future research and intervention with victimized children are discussed.

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