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


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.

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    • "Second, grade‐specific LCA analyses did not result in discernible class solutions, even for those with the best relative model fit. Third, previous studies on bully/victim typologies have also used dichotomous outcomes (Lovegrove, Henry, & Slater, 2012)—including a previous study using this sample (Williford et al., 2011)which has resulted in a replicable typology that matches theoretical assertions regarding bullying subgroups. Finally, the cutoff value we used to classify student responses has been empirically derived and is often used for prevalence estimation (Solberg & Olweus, 2003). "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Aggressive Behavior
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    • "This study is the first to examine patterns of bullying behaviors using LCA and account for self-reported forms of bullying – physically aggressing, relationally aggressing, verbally aggressing, cyber bullying, stealing, and making sexual comments – while simultaneously estimating relations to varying forms of adjustment (victimization, internalizing problems, safety, and belonging) and perceived school bullying climate. The present study also adds to the literature by constructing a latent model of bullying groupings using a larger sample, across a broader range of grades (middle and high school students) than many other studies using an LCA approach (e.g., Wang et al., 2010, 2012; Williford et al., 2011). Given the co-occurrence of different forms of bullying (Wang et al., 2009, 2012), it seems unlikely that an exclusively physical or exclusively relational aggression subtype would emerge. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of school psychology
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    • "Specifically, studies have used latent class analysis (LCA) to ascertain unique patterns or subgroups of potentially co-occurring bullying involvement (McCutcheon 1987; Nylund et al. 2007a, b). Some recent studies using LCA also have revealed Nansel and colleagues' four groups (Lovegrove et al. 2012; Williford et al. 2011), whereas others have demonstrated greater heterogeneity. For instance, some researchers have identified a fifth group. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on the role of race and urbanicity in bullying involvement has been limited. The present study examined bullying involvement subgroups that relate to race, urbanicity, and the perceived reason for the bullying. Self-report data were collected from 10,254 middle school youth (49.8 % female; 62.4 % Caucasian, 19.0 % African American, and 5.6 % Hispanic) and latent class analyses were used to identify three subtypes of bullying involvement: low involvement (50 %), victim (31.3 %), and bully-victim (18.7 %). Irrespective of urbanicity (urban vs. non-urban), African American youth were more likely to be members of either the victim or bully-victim classes than the low involvement class. Further exploration of the community context suggested that urbanicity was associated with the increased likelihood of having been racially bullied. Urban bully-victims were also more likely to have been bullied about money than non-urban bully-victims. Findings underscore the importance of addressing both race and urbanicity for culturally sensitive prevention programming.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
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