Trajectories of Verbal and Physical Peer Victimization Among Children with Comorbid Oppositional Defiant Problems, Conduct Problems and Hyperactive-Attention Problems

  • Mariam Ter-Stepanian
  • Alexa Martin-StoreyEmail author
  • Roxanne Bizier-Lacroix
  • Michèle Déry
  • Jean-Pascal Lemelin
  • Caroline E. Temcheff
Original Article


The high levels of comorbidity between oppositional/conduct problems and hyperactivity/attention problems underscore the need for assessing how vulnerability for peer victimization is shaped by overlap among these behavior problems. Children (mean age 8.39, SD = 0.93) participating in a longitudinal study of the development of conduct problems (N = 744; 348 girls) in Quebec, Canada, were evaluated by their teachers regarding experiences of peer verbal and physical victimization every year for 6 years. Parent and teacher ratings of clinically significant oppositional/conduct problems, and hyperactivity/attention problems, as well as cormorbid opposition defiant/conduct problems and hyperactivity/attention problems were regressed onto trajectories of verbal and physical victimization. While behavior problems (both alone and together) were associated with higher levels of verbal and physical victimization, some variation was observed across rater and type of victimization. Ultimately, these findings suggest the importance of adapting programming for reducing victimization to children with oppositional and conduct problems.


Conduct problems Oppositional problems Hyperactivity/attention problems Victimization Gender 



We would like to express our gratitude to the families who participated in this study and to the research team. The study was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, FRN 82694), by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC-37890), and by Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC-196505).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent from all adult participants included in the study, and child participants provided assent.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Department of PsychoeducationUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Education, Department of Educational and Counselling PsychologyUniversity McGill UniversitySherbrookeCanada

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