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Child Dev. 2012 Mar-Apr;83(2):637-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01722.x. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Longitudinal associations among youth depressive symptoms, peer victimization, and low peer acceptance: an interpersonal process perspective.

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Arizona State University, USA.


A longitudinal investigation was conducted to explicate the network of associations between depressive symptoms and peer difficulties among 486 fourth through sixth graders (M = 9.93 years). Parent and teacher reports of depressive symptoms; peer, self, and teacher reports of victimization; and peer reports of peer acceptance were obtained. A systematic examination of nested structural equation models provided support for a symptoms-driven model whereby depressive symptoms contributed to peer difficulties; no evidence was found for interpersonal risk or transactional models. Analyses further revealed that victimization mediated the association between prior depressive symptoms and subsequent peer acceptance. Results extend knowledge about the temporal ordering of depressive symptoms and peer difficulties and elucidate one process through which depressive symptoms disrupt peer relationships.

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