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Relational peer victimization and psychosocial adjustment: The mediating role of best friendship qualities

Authors

  • JI-IN YOU,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Wisconsin–Madison
      Ji-In You, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, e-mail: jyou2@wisc.edu.
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    • Ji-In You and Amy Bellmore, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

  • AMY BELLMORE

    1. University of Wisconsin–Madison
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    • Ji-In You and Amy Bellmore, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison.


  • Data used for this study were collected as part of the Manchester Youth Study, a study of how peer relations contribute to social and academic development across childhood and adolescence. We are grateful to Antonius H. Cillessen for allowing us to use part of his data set.

Ji-In You, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, e-mail: jyou2@wisc.edu.

Abstract

With a sample of 414 tenth-grade students (53% girls) from the Northeastern United States, the unique mediating roles that different dimensions of best friendship quality play in linking relational victimization and psychosocial maladjustment were examined. For both boys and girls, relational victimization was found to predict higher levels of internalizing behaviors directly and through partial mediation by greater conflict and weaker feelings of help within adolescents' best friendships. Increased conflict also partially mediated the association between relational victimization and higher levels of externalizing behaviors. Together, the results provide support for the significance of broader peer group functioning on both dyadic relationships and individual functioning.

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