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Chronic, increasing, and decreasing peer victimization trajectories and the development of externalizing and internalizing problems in middle childhood
Development and Psychopathology  (IF5.317),  Pub Date : 2022-05-16, DOI: 10.1017/s0954579422000426
Idean Ettekal, Haoran Li, Anjali Chaudhary, Wen Luo, Rebecca J. Brooker

Children’s peer victimization trajectories and their longitudinal associations with externalizing and internalizing problems were investigated from Grades 2 to 5. Secondary data analysis was performed with the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K-2011; n = 13,860, Mage = 8.1 years old in the spring of Grade 2; 51.1% male, 46.7% White, 13.2% African-American, 25.3% Hispanic or Latino, 8.5% Asian, and 6.1% other or biracial). Children who experienced high and persistent levels of peer victimization (high-chronic victims) exhibited co-occurring externalizing and internalizing problems. Moreover, among high-chronic victims, boys had a more pronounced increase in their externalizing trajectories, and girls had greater increases in their social anxiety trajectories. In contrast, those with decreasing peer victimization across time exhibited signs of recovery, particularly with respect to their social anxiety. These findings elucidated how chronic, increasing, and decreasing victims exhibited distinct patterns in the co-occurring development of their externalizing and internalizing problems, and how findings varied depending on the form of problem behavior and by child sex.