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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2007 Oct-Dec;36(4):621-8.

The situation specificity of youth responses to peer provocation.

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  • 1Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Previous studies have identified peer provocation as a challenging class of situations for youth. The work presented here builds on previous methods of assessing peer provocation by (a) increasing the contextual detail of the vignettes; (b) developing a reliable, descriptive coding system of the range of youth responses to physical, verbal, and relational provocation; and (c) assessing the relevance of these situations for a sample (N = 76) of ethnically diverse, economically disadvantaged youth ages 12 to 14. The vignettes were used to examine the situation specificity of youth responses to provocation. Situation and identity of aggressor were both predictors of youth responses. For example, participants "matched" physical aggression to physical provocation. These findings are consistent with previous studies demonstrating the situation specificity of social information processing, even within the relatively homogeneous category of peer provocations.

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