Patterns of aggressive behavior and peer victimization from childhood to early adolescence: a latent class analysis.

School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas, 1545 Lilac Lane, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.72). 06/2011; 40(6):644-55. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-010-9583-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The developmental period characterized by the transition from childhood and elementary school to early adolescence and middle school has been associated with increases in aggressive behavior and peer victimization. Few longitudinal studies, however, have examined the stability of aggression and victimization during this critical transition. This study uses latent class analysis (LCA) to examine patterns of aggressive behavior and victimization during the transition to middle school among urban, public school students (N = 458; Girls = 53%; Latino/a = 53%; M age at t1 = 10.2 years). Independent LCA models were conducted using self-reported data assessing subjects' involvement in aggressive conduct and victimization during the spring semesters of grades four, five, and six. Elementary school students in the fourth grade initially belonged to one of four groups identified as aggressor, victim, aggressor-victim, and uninvolved latent classes. Contrary to prior research, membership in these classes changed significantly by the time students completed their first year of middle school with most youth participating in episodes of aggression and victimization during the transition. Six common paths that describe patterns of aggressive behavior and victimization from the last two years of elementary school to the first year of middle school were found. Findings are discussed in the context of social dominance theory and prior research that has found greater stability in aggression and victimization among early adolescents.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that students who bully may perceive the school climate less favorably. Person-centered analyses were used to identify distinct groupings of bullying behaviors and related social-emotional factors (i.e., victimization, internalizing, and perception of school and bullying climate). Latent class analyses were conducted on a sample of 10,254 middle and 2509 high school students and indicated four classes in middle school (Low Involvement, Verbal, High Physical/High Verbal, and High Involvement) and three classes in high school (Low Involvement, Verbal, and High Involvement). A Low Involvement bullying class characterized most students and was related to positive adjustment, whereas a High Involvement bullying class represented the smallest proportion of the sample (1.6% middle school and 7.3% in high school). Students in the High Involvement class reported increased victimization and internalizing problems, feeling less safe and less belonging, and perceiving the school climate to be more supportive of bullying (i.e., perceiving adults' prevention and intervention efforts as ineffective). In middle school, the High Physical/High Verbal class reported significantly higher levels of victimization as compared to the Verbal class. Findings highlight heterogeneity in bullying behaviors and underscore the importance of prevention and intervention programming that addresses safety and belonging.
    Journal of school psychology 08/2013; 51(4):469-85. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the effects of depressive symptoms, antisocial attitudes, and perspective-taking empathy on patterns of bullying and victimization during the transition from late elementary (4th grade to 5th grade) to middle school (6th grade) among 1,077 students who participated in the Youth Matters (YM) bullying prevention trial. Latent transition analysis was used to establish classes of bullying, victimization, bully-victimization, and uninvolvement. The intervention had a positive impact on children as they moved from elementary to middle school. More students in the YM group transitioned from the involved statuses to the uninvolved status than students in the control group during the move to middle school. Elementary school bullies with higher levels of depressive symptoms were less likely than other students to move to an uninvolved status in the first year of middle school. Students who held greater antisocial attitudes were more likely to be a member of the bully-victim status than the uninvolved status during the move to middle school. Perspective-taking empathy, however, was not a significant predictor of status change during the transition to middle school. Implications for school-based prevention programs during the move to middle school are noted. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Aggressive Behavior 09/2013; · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies on victimization have either used self-reports of peer-reports, but correspondence between these measures is low, implying that types of victims may exist that differ in convergence between self- and peer-reported victimization. Importantly, the very few studies that do exist on such types were cross-sectional, and did not address the stability nor predictive validity in terms of adjustment of these types. Using a person-centered approach, the present study identified types of victims that were either convergent or divergent in self- and peer-reported victimization, and examined how these types differed in concurrent and prospective adjustment. Participants were 1,346 adolescents (50 % girls, mean age 14.2) who were followed for 1 year. Using Latent Profile Analysis, we identified two convergent types (self-peer identified victims and non-victims) and two divergent types (self-identified and peer-identified) of victims. The types were highly stable over time. Self-peer identified victims were not only concurrently but also prospectively the least well adjusted. Self-identified victims showed lower levels of emotional adjustment but did not show problems on social adjustment. On the other hand, peer-identified victims were at risk for social but not emotional maladjustment. The findings corroborate previous studies that suggest that self-reported victimization is related to emotional problems, while peer-reported victimization is more indicative of social problems. The findings also suggest that using self-reports or peer-reports only may lead to incomplete conclusions about victims' adjustment on different domains.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 01/2013; · 2.72 Impact Factor