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Child Development

Relations Among Chronic Peer Group Rejection, Maladaptive Behavioral Dispositions, and Early Adolescents' Peer Perceptions

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  • This investigation was conducted as part of the Pathways Project, a larger longitudinal investigation of children's social, psychological, and scholastic adjustment in school contexts that is supported by the National Institutes of Health (1 RO1MH-49223, 2-RO1MH-49223, R01HD-045906 to Gary W. Ladd). Portions of the data reported here were utilized by Rebecca K. Andrews to complete a master's thesis at Arizona State University. Special appreciation is expressed to all the children and parents who made this study possible, and to members of the Pathways Project for assistance with data collection.

Abstract

Adolescents' perceptions of peers' relational characteristics (e.g., support, trustworthiness) were examined for subtypes of youth who evidenced chronic maladaptive behavior, chronic peer group rejection, or combinations of these risk factors. Growth mixture modeling was used to identify subgroups of participants within a normative sample of youth (= 477; 50% female) for whom data had been gathered from fifth grade (Mage = 10.61) through eighth grade (Mage = 13.93). Results revealed that both enduring individual vulnerability (i.e., chronic withdrawn or chronic aggressive behavioral dispositions) and interpersonal adversity (i.e., chronic peer group rejection) were linked with either differences or changes in adolescents' perceptions of their peers' supportiveness and trustworthiness across the early adolescent age period.

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