Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 2222–2240 | Cite as

Social and Emotional Adjustment Across Aggressor/Victim Subgroups: Are Aggressive-Victims Distinct?

  • Kelly E. O’ConnorEmail author
  • Albert D. Farrell
  • Wendy Kliewer
  • Stephen J. Lepore
Empirical Research


Despite prior studies supporting the existence of “aggressive-victims”, it remains unclear if they possess unique risk factors from adolescents who are mostly aggressive or victimized. The present study sought to determine whether aggressive-victims differ from adolescents with distinct patterns of involvement in aggression and victimization in their social and emotional adjustment. Secondary analyses were conducted on baseline data from 984 seventh grade students (54% female) from three schools. Most participants identified their race as White (49%) or African American (19%), with 24% identifying as Latino/a. Latent class analysis identified four subgroups: predominant-aggressors (25%), predominant-victims (17%), aggressive-victims (12%), and limited-involvement (47%). The findings did not provide evidence of unique social-emotional characteristics of aggressive-victims that were not accounted for by their involvement in both aggression and victimization. Further evidence of unique differences in risk factors is needed to support targeted interventions for aggressive-victims.


Aggressive-victims Aggression Adolescence Emotion regulation Social competence 



This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01MH081166-01A1 awarded to W.K. and S.J.L. We thank the research staff, schools, teachers, and students who participated in this study.

Authors’ Contributions

K.O. conceived of the study, completed the statistical analyses, and participated in the design and interpretation of the data and drafting of the manuscript; A.F. participated in the conceptualization of the study, design and interpretation of the data, and drafting of the manuscript; W.K. and S.L. provided the data for use in this study and contributed to the preparation of the manuscript.

Data Sharing and Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards at Virginia Commonwealth University and Temple University. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of Virginia Commonwealth University and Temple University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments of comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was provided by the maternal caregiver and assent was provided by the adolescent before initiating the data collection.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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