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Prospective linkages between peer victimization and externalizing problems in children: a meta-analysis

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Abstract

Previous meta-analytic research has shown both concurrent and prospective linkages between peer victimization and internalizing problems in youth. However, the linkages between peer victimization and externalizing problems over time have not been systematically examined, and it is therefore unknown if externalizing problems are antecedents of victimization, consequences of victimization, both, or neither. This study provides a meta-analysis of 14 longitudinal studies examining prospective linkages between peer victimization and externalizing problems (n=7,821). Two prospective paths were examined: the extent to which peer victimization at baseline predicts future residualized changes in externalizing problems, as well as the extent to which externalizing problems at baseline predict future residualized changes in peer victimization. Results revealed significant associations between peer victimization and subsequent residualized changes in externalizing problems, as well as significant associations between externalizing problems and subsequent residualized changes in peer victimization. Hence, externalizing problems function as both antecedents and consequences of peer victimization. Aggr. Behav. 37:215–222, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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