Effects of Peer Victimization and Perceived Social Support on Daily Negative Affect and Sleep Outcomes

  • Yanping JiangEmail author
  • Xiaoming Li
  • Samuele Zilioli
  • Junfeng Zhao
  • Guoxiang Zhao
Original Paper



The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of peer victimization–measured at the daily and cumulative levels–on daily negative affect and multiple sleep parameters including subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep continuity (i.e., night awakening) among children affected by parental HIV from rural China. This study also aimed to test the moderation effects of perceived social support and sex in these associations.


A total of 637 children (50.4% boys, 8–15 years of age) affected by parental HIV self-reported measures on cumulative peer victimization (i.e., the experience of victimization during the past 6 months) and perceived social support. They were also asked to report daily peer victimization, daily negative affect, and sleep outcomes over three consecutive days.


Multilevel models showed that cumulative peer victimization was associated with both daily negative affect and night awakenings, whereas these associations became statistically nonsignificant after controlling for trait negative affect. Daily peer victimization was significantly related to daily negative affect. All these associations were consistent for boys and girls. There were no buffering effects of perceived social support on these associations.


The results suggest that peer victimization may contribute to daily negative emotional experiences among children affected by parental HIV. Interventions targeting psychological wellbeing among children affected by parental HIV may need to incorporate peer victimization component.


Peer victimization Negative affect Sleep Perceived social support Parental HIV Sex differences 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research Grant (Grant number R01-NR13466).

Author Contributions

Y.J.: analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. X.L.: designed and executed the project and provided critical edits. S.Z.: collaborated on data analyses and writing of the study. J.Z.: designed the project and coordinated data collection. G.Z.: designed the project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The approval for the study protocol was obtained from the Institutional Review Boards at Henan University in China and Wayne State University in the United States.

Informed Consent

Informed consent/assent was obtained from all children and their caregivers included in the study.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Promotion, Education, and BehaviorUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family Medicine and Public Health SciencesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  4. 4.International Research Center for Psychological Health of Vulnerable PopulationsHenan UniversityHenanChina
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyHenan Normal UniversityHenanChina

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