Peer Victimization Trajectories From Kindergarten Through High School: Differential Pathways for Children's School Engagement and Achievement?

Gary Ladd, Idean Ettekal, Becky Ladd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

This investigation's aims were to map prevalence, normative trends, and patterns of continuity or change in school-based peer victimization throughout formal schooling (i.e., Grades K-12), and determine whether specific victimization patterns (i.e., differential trajectories) were associated with children's academic performance. A sample of 383 children (193 girls) was followed from kindergarten (Mage = 5.50) through Grade 12 (Mage = 17.89), and measures of peer victimization, school engagement, academic self-perceptions, and achievement were repeatedly administered across this epoch. Although it was the norm for victimization prevalence and frequency to decline across formal schooling, 5 trajectory subtypes were identified, capturing differences in victimization frequency and continuity (i.e., high-chronic, moderate-emerging, early victims, low victims, and nonvictims). Consistent with a chronic stress hypothesis, high-chronic victimization consistently was related to lower-and often prolonged-disparities in school engagement, academic self-perceptions, and academic achievement. For other victimization subtypes, movement into victimization (i.e., moderate-emerging) was associated with lower or declining scores on academic indicators, and movement out of victimization (i.e., early victims) with higher or increasing scores on these indicators (i.e., "recovery"). Findings provide a more complete account of the overall prevalence, stability, and developmental course of school-based peer victimization than has been reported to date. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 30 2017

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Peer relations
  • Peer victimization
  • School engagement
  • Trajectories of peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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