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A gender-balanced approach to the study of peer victimization and aggression subtypes in early childhood

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2014

Jamie M. Ostrov*
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Kimberly E. Kamper
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Emily J. Hart
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Stephanie A. Godleski
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Sarah J. Blakely-McClure
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jamie M. Ostrov, Department of Psychology, 227 Park Hall, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260; E-mail: jostrov@buffalo.edu.

Abstract

A short-term longitudinal study during early childhood (N = 301; 155 girls; M = 44.76 months old, SD = 8.20) investigated the prospective associations between peer victimization and aggression subtypes. Specifically, observations of relational and physical victimization as well as teacher reports of the forms (i.e., relational and physical) and functions (i.e., proactive and reactive) of aggression were collected at two time points during an academic year. Within- and between-group gender differences were examined as part of the preliminary analyses. In order to address key study questions, both directions of effect between peer victimization and aggression subtypes were examined. We found that teacher-reported proactive relational aggression predicted decreases in observed relational victimization over time, whereas reactive relational aggression predicted increases in observed relational victimization over time. Ways in which these and other findings extend the literature are discussed.

Type
Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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