Longitudinal Links Between Childhood Peer Victimization, Internalizing and Externalizing Problems, and Academic Functioning: Developmental Cascades
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- Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H.L., McDougall, P. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2013) 41: 1203. doi:10.1007/s10802-013-9781-5
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Developmental cascade models linking childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning were examined in a sample of 695 children assessed in Grade 3 (academic only) and Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. Results revealed several complex patterns of associations in which poorer functioning in one domain influenced poorer outcomes in other areas. For example, a symptom driven pathway was consistently found with internalizing problems predicting future peer victimization. Support for an academic incompetence model was also found— lower GPA in Grade 5, 6, and 7 was associated with more externalizing issues in the following year, and poor writing performance in Grade 3 predicted lower grades in Grade 5, which in turn predicted more externalizing problems in Grade 6. Results highlight the need to examine bidirectional influences and multifarious transactions that exist between peer victimization, mental health, and academic functioning over time.