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Mechanisms and processes of relational and physical victimization, depressive symptoms, and children's relational-interdependent self-construals: Implications for peer relationships and psychopathology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2014

Yoshito Kawabata
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development
Wan-Ling Tseng
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development
Nicki R. Crick
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This short-term longitudinal study examined the associations between relational and physical victimization and depressive symptoms, and the moderating role of school-aged children's relational-interdependent self-construals in these associations. The participants were 387 children (51.8% boys) who were in the fifth grade (M = 10.48 years, SD = 0.55) in Taiwan and followed at two time points (a 6-month interval) during a calendar year. A multiple-informant approach was used where forms of peer victimization, depressive symptoms, and relational-interdependent self-construals were assessed via peer nominations, teacher reports, and child reports, respectively. All measures had favorable psychometric properties. The results of a multigroup cross-lagged model demonstrated that relational victimization (not physical victimization) was positively predictive of subsequent depressive symptoms, and the effect was evidenced for highly interdependent children only. The opposite link was also significant, such that depressive symptoms predicted subsequent relational victimization (not physical victimization) for children who exhibited low and high levels of relational-interdependent self-construals. In contrast, physical victimization predated a lower level of depressive symptoms for highly interdependent children. These effects were unaffected by the gender of the child. The findings, especially the interactive effects of relational victimization (as a contextual factor) and relational-interdependent self-construals (as an individual vulnerability) on depressive symptoms, are discussed from a developmental psychopathology perspective.

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Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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