Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 205-220

First online:

Individual Differences in Responses to Provocation and Frequent Victimization by Peers

  • Kelly M. ChampionAffiliated withDepartment of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Child Development and Family Studies Research Center, Arizona State University at the West Campus Email author 
  • , Daniel L. ClayAffiliated withCollege of Education and Human Services, Western Illinois University

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This study examined associations between victimization by peers and intention to respond to provocative events as a function of anger arousal and motivation to improve the situation in a cross-sectional sample of school-age children (N = 506, 260 males, 246 females). Results demonstrated that more intense anger and more retaliatory motivation were positively associated with intentions to aggress and with frequency of victimization. The association between aggressive intentions to respond to anger provocation and victimization could be accounted for by subjective feelings of anger and motivation to retaliate. The contribution of emotion processes was stronger for boys than for girls. A post hoc examination of non-bullying participants revealed that motivation accounted for aggressive intentions among the non-bullies. Results support including anger management programs in prevention efforts that target the school climate andvictims’ risk for psychopathology.


Victimization by peers Emotion Anger Motivation Aggression Gender