A longitudinal analysis of patterns of adjustment following peer victimization
This study examined the effects of being victimized by peers on children's behavioral, social, emotional, and academic functioning. We assessed an ethnically diverse sample of 2,064 first, second, and fourth graders and followed them over 2 years, locating 1,469 of the participants at the follow-up. Correlation and partial correlation analyses revealed that prior victimization predicted externalizing, internalizing, and social problems 2 years later for the sample as a whole. However, not all victimized children experienced the same types of outcomes; instead, there was heterogeneity in children's responses to victimization. Using cluster analysis, we identified eight outcome patterns that represented different patterns of functioning. These were labeled as externalizing, internalizing, symptomatic, popular, disliked, absent, low achieving, and high achieving. Discriminant function analyses revealed that the symptomatic, externalizing, and disliked patterns were systematically related to victimization. Moreover, significant gender and age differences in the severity of effects were obtained. The discussion highlights the complexity of victimization effects.
c1 Laura D. Hanish, Department of Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 872502, Tempe, AZ 85287-2502; E-mail: Laura.Hanish@asu.edu.