Subtypes, Severity, and Structural Stability of Peer Victimization: What Does Latent Class Analysis Say?

Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, GSE&IS Box 951521, 2027 Moore Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521, USA.
Child Development (Impact Factor: 4.72). 11/2007; 78(6):1706-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01097.x
Source: PubMed


This study uses latent class analysis (LCA) to empirically identify victimization groups during middle school. Approximately 2,000 urban, public middle school students (mean age in sixth grade = 11.57) reported on their peer victimization during the Fall and Spring semesters of their sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Independent LCA analyses at each semester yielded 3 victim classes based on victimization degree rather than type (e.g., physical vs. relational). The most victimized class always represented the smallest proportion of the sample, decreasing from 20% in sixth grade to 6% by the end of eighth grade. This victimized class also always reported feeling less safe at school concurrently and more depressed than others 1 semester later, illustrating the validity of the LCA approach.

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Available from: Karen Nylund-Gibson, Feb 23, 2015
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    • "Consistent with this notion, a body of evidence indicates that victimization by peers during adolescence constitutes a significant risk factor for internalizing symptoms and disorders (Reijntjes et al. 2010). In contrast to overt victimization (i.e., physical threat or harm), relational victimization, which is characterized by social exclusion, gossiping, and reputational threat, increases during the middle school transition (Nylund et al. 2007) and may be particularly likely to lead to depressive and anxiety symptoms. Indeed, numerous studies indicate that relational peer victimization is concurrently and longitudinally associated with increases in depressive and social anxiety symptoms (e.g., Desjardins and Leadbeater 2011; Siegel et al. 2009), and is more strongly associated with internalizing symptoms than is overt victimization (Prinstein et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Social anxiety and depressive symptoms dramatically increase and frequently co-occur during adolescence. Although research indicates that general interpersonal stressors, peer victimization, and familial emotional maltreatment predict symptoms of social anxiety and depression, it remains unclear how these stressors contribute to the sequential development of these internalizing symptoms. Thus, the present study examined the sequential development of social anxiety and depressive symptoms following the occurrence of interpersonal stressors, peer victimization, and familial emotional maltreatment. Participants included 410 early adolescents (53 % female; 51 % African American; Mean age =12.84 years) who completed measures of social anxiety and depressive symptoms at three time points (Times 1-3), as well as measures of general interpersonal stressors, peer victimization, and emotional maltreatment at Time 2. Path analyses revealed that interpersonal stressors, peer victimization, and emotional maltreatment predicted both depressive and social anxiety symptoms concurrently. However, depressive symptoms significantly mediated the pathway from interpersonal stressors, peer victimization, and familial emotional maltreatment to subsequent levels of social anxiety symptoms. In contrast, social anxiety did not mediate the relationship between these stressors and subsequent depressive symptoms. There was no evidence of sex or racial differences in these mediational pathways. Findings suggest that interpersonal stressors, including the particularly detrimental stressors of peer victimization and familial emotional maltreatment, may predict both depressive and social anxiety symptoms; however, adolescents who have more immediate depressogenic reactions may be at greater risk for later development of symptoms of social anxiety.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
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    • "Another complicating issue is that researchers assess violent behaviour within differing behaviour areas and by means of differing procedures. These instruments and methods include, for example, self-reporting instruments like the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (Solberg & Olweus, 2003) or variations thereof (Wang, Iannotti, Luk, & Nansel, 2010), multidimensional psychometric scales describing various types of peer victimisation (Mynard & Joseph, 2000), clustering procedures to identify students with similar victimisation experiences (Felix, Furlong, & Austin, 2009), and approaches that scale students according to the severity of violence the victims have experienced (Michie & Cooke, 2006; Nylund, Bellmore, Nishina, & Graham, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Teachers conceptualise and interpret violent behaviour of secondary students in different ways. They also differ in their estimates of the relevance of student and contextual school variables when explaining the severity of violence experienced by students. Research can assist here by explicating the role of different types of contextual school variables. The research question is twofold: 1) Do contextual school variables, in addition to a student’s personal, family, and educational variables, explain a student’s violent behaviour? 2) If so, what is the role of student composition variables compared with variables indicating the social cohesion of the school? A hypothetical model was developed in which personal, familyrelated, educational, and school variables of different types simultaneously explain the severity of violence experienced by a student. The method used to test the model empirically is secondary analysis of data collected in a Dutch national survey on school safety in secondary education (N students = 78,840; N schools = 219). Severity of violence experienced is assessed by the Mokken Scale on Severity of Violence Experienced (MSSVE). Multiple regression analyses reveal that a student who is older, a young male, born in the country of residence, feels at home in another country, does not have an intact family, is not religious, is enrolled in the highest educational track, and is achieving lower marks in the school subjects of language and mathematics, experiences more severe violence than other students (explained variance 3.4%). Simultaneously, different types of contextual school variables are differently relevant. Mean severity of violence experienced by students at school indicates clearly more variance (2.3%) than the combination of student composition variables (0.4%). The conclusion is that the theoretical model is empirically supported, which also underlines the validity of the MSSVE. The discussion focuses on a comprehensive multilevel approach to stimulate and check improvement of social cohesion at school.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Teachers and Teaching Theory and Practice
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    • "Otherwise, the Entropy is good for two classes but drops noticeably for three or more classes. When comparing measurement models, it is important to consider not only the statistical indicators but also the substantive meaning of each of the classes when interpreting the results yielded with LPA (Nylund et al., 2007 "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to: (a) identify motivational profiles among a sample of 141 young table-tennis players involved in intensive training settings; (b) examine the consistency or change of motivational profiles for the same athlete over time; and (c) investigate differences between these profiles on burnout, coping, stress and recovery. Latent profile transition analysis revealed two or three distinct profiles that are similar for the three measurement occasions: Self-determined profile, moderate profile, and low profile. Motivational profiles exhibited both stability and changes over time from an intra-individual perspective. Athletes from the self-determined profile were characterized by the best psychological adjustment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Mary C R Wilson added an answer in Latent Class Analysis:
    Do you know any articles on latent class analysis that helped to indicate qualitative differences between groups (rather than only quantitative)?

    It would be helpful if the LCA was used in mental health, physical health, substance use, social support areas etc. 

    Mary C R Wilson

    Hello Whitold

    These papers have qualitative analysis. The first is available on ResearchGate, and gives a qualitative description of the classes:

    Laska, M. N., Pasch, K. E., Lust, K., Story, M., & Ehlinger, E. (2009). Latent class analysis of lifestyle characteristics and health risk behaviors among college youth. Prevention Science, 10(4), 376-386.

    This RG paper (below) references the paper suggested in the answer above, from Béatrice Marianne; however, I am not sure whether this Nylund et al. paper has sufficient qualitative data to meet your criteria:

    Nylund, K., Bellmore, A., Nishina, A., & Graham, S. (2007). Subtypes, severity, and structural stability of peer victimization: What does latent class analysis say?. Child development, 78(6), 1706-1722.

    Likewise, this paper below  may not meet your qualitative criteria:

    Golder, S., Connell, C. M., & Sullivan, T. P. (2012). Psychological Distress and Substance Use Among Community-Recruited Women Currently Victimized by Intimate Partners A Latent Class Analysis and Examination of Between-Class Differences. Violence Against Women, 18(8), 934-957.

    I was unable to access the full text of this paper but I think that there might be qualitative aspects:

    Yampolskaya, S., Greenbaum, P. E., & Berson, I. R. (2009). Profiles of child maltreatment perpetrators and risk for fatal assault: A latent class analysis. Journal of Family Violence, 24(5), 337-348.

    Although the title of this book suggests quantitative, but may be worth dipping into:

    Collins, L. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2013). Latent class and latent transition analysis: With applications in the social, behavioral, and health sciences (Vol. 718). John Wiley & Sons.

    Very best wishes


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      ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined the context of a wide range of risk behaviors among emerging adults (ages 18-25 years), approximately half of whom in the USA enroll in post-secondary educational institutions. The objective of this research was to examine behavioral patterning in weight behaviors (diet and physical activity), substance use, sexual behavior, stress, and sleep among undergraduate students. Health survey data were collected among undergraduates attending a large, public US university (n = 2,026). Latent class analysis was used to identify homogeneous, mutually exclusive "classes" (patterns) of ten leading risk behaviors. Resulting classes differed for males and females. Female classes were defined as: (1) poor lifestyle (diet, physical activity, sleep), yet low-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, binge drinking, sexual risk, drunk driving; 40.0% of females), (2) high risk (high substance use, intoxicated sex, drunk driving, poor diet, inadequate sleep) (24.3%), (3) moderate lifestyle, few risk behaviors (20.4%), (4) "health conscious" (favorable diet/physical activity with some unhealthy weight control; 15.4%). Male classes were: (1) poor lifestyle, low risk (with notably high stress, insufficient sleep, 9.2% of males), (2) high risk (33.6% of males, similar to class 2 in females), (3) moderate lifestyle, low risk (51.0%), and (4) "classic jocks" (high physical activity, binge drinking, 6.2%). To our knowledge, this is among the first research to examine complex lifestyle patterning among college youth, particularly with emphasis on the role of weight-related behaviors. These findings have important implications for targeting much needed health promotion strategies among emerging adults and college youth.
      Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Prevention Science

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