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Prospective Relations Among Victimization, Rejection, Friendlessness, and Children's Self- and Peer-Perceptions


  • This study is part of the ongoing project “Relational schemata, social goals, and social adjustment in childhood and in adolescence,” funded by the Academy of Finland (project 202554/68884), Emil Aaltonen Foundation, and Oskar Öflund Foundation. We are grateful for the thoughtful comments provided by Ernest Hodges regarding the manuscript. We extend our thanks to the participating students and their parents, the teachers who made the data collection possible, and the research assistants working in the project.

concerning this article should be addressed to Christina Salmivalli, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland. Electronic mail may be sent to


This study investigated the prospective links between three forms of peer adversities (i.e., victimization, rejection, and lack of reciprocated friendships) and children's perceptions of themselves and of their peers. The sample consisted of 212 children (107 boys and 105 girls, 11–13 years) recruited from four primary schools and followed up for a period of one year. The results showed that a negative self-perception was a risk factor for the development of all forms of peer adversities. Of the three forms of peer adversities assessed, victimization and rejection had an influence on children's peer perceptions. None of the peer adversities predicted changes in self-perceptions. The results partially support a transactional model between children and their environments.