, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 181-192

Subtypes of Victims and Aggressors in Children's Peer Groups

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Abstract

This study reports an investigation of the behavioral profiles and psychosocial adjustment of subgroups of victims and aggressors in elementary school peer groups. Peer nomination scores for aggression and victimization were used to classify 354 inner-city children (mean age of 10.3 years) into one of four subgroups: aggressive victims, nonaggressive victims, nonvictimized aggressors, and normative contrasts. Subgroup comparisons were then conducted using multi-informant assessment of social behavior, social acceptance-rejection, behavioral regulation, academic functioning, and emotional distress. Children in each of the victim-aggressor subgroups were characterized by a degree of social and behavioral maladjustment. However, impairments in behavioral and emotional regulation were most evident for the aggressive victim subgroup. Aggressive victims were also characterized by academic failure, peer rejection, and emotional distress. The results of this investigation highlight the distinctive nature of the aggressive victim subgroup.