Peer victimization during middle childhood predicts internalizing problems and diagnostic outcomes in late adolescence.
Schwartz, D., Lansford, J. E., Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G. S., & Bates, J. E. (2015). Peer victimization during middle childhood predicts internalizing problems and diagnostic outcomes in late adolescence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 393-404.
Abstract: We examined evidence that peer victimization in middle childhood is a lead indicator of internalizing behavior problems and diagnostic outcomes during adolescence. This research was conducted as part of an ongoing multisite longitudinal investigation. The participants were 388 children (198 boys, 190 girls). Peer victimization was assessed with a peer nomination inventory that was administered when the average age of the participants was approximately 8.5 years. Internalizing problems were assessed using a behavior problem checklist completed by mothers in 9 consecutive years, and a structured clinical interview was administered to the participants in the summer following high school graduation (10–11 years after the victimization assessment). Peer victimization in middle childhood was correlated with internalizing problems on a bivariate basis through the late years of adolescence. Multilevel analyses also revealed associations between peer victimization and increases in internalizing problems over time. In addition, peer victimization had a modest link to unipolar depressive disorders in late adolescence. Victimization in the peer group during middle childhood appears to be a marker of long-term risk for internalizing behavior problems and unipolar depression.