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Bidirectional Links Between Coping Strategies and Sibling and Peer Victimization Among Elementary School-Age Youth


Although siblings are known to contribute to one’s socialization experiences, research examining sibling victimization remains limited. One area in need of examination is the links between coping strategies and sibling victimization, as extant research suggests that how one responds to negative social interactions is associated with subsequent adjustment and may increase risk for further victimization. The current study advances the field by examining the bidirectional associations between coping strategies and sibling and peer victimization over a 6-month period and evaluating potential gender differences in these associations. Third- through fifth-grade children (M age = 9.28 years; 54.4% male) reported on their victimization experiences and coping strategies at each time point. Findings suggest that while revenge seeking was associated with increases in sibling victimization for both boys and girls, revenge seeking was only associated with increases in peer victimization for boys. Further, peer victimization was associated with increases in passive coping regardless of gender. Thus, associations between victimization and coping strategies appear to vary somewhat depending on who the aggressor is, but the majority of effects appear to be similar for boys and girls. Findings support the need to evaluate experiences of sibling victimization further.

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Fite, P.J., Cooley, J.L., Ryder, A. et al. Bidirectional Links Between Coping Strategies and Sibling and Peer Victimization Among Elementary School-Age Youth. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 45, 415–427 (2023).

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