Peer victimization is a persistent problem in early adolescents’ peer relationships that is related to various difficulties in the short and long run. Previous studies have investigated whether relationships with peers and teachers predict victimization, but to date, few studies have examined the simultaneous contribution of both classroom-based relationships to victimization over time. Therefore, this study investigated how peer rejection and teacher-child relationships uniquely predict peer victimization over the course of one school year in upper elementary school. The transactional associations among teacher-child relationships, peer rejection, and relational and physical victimization were examined in a sample of 692 children (36 classes; Mage = 10.28; range: 7.92-13.14; 48.4% female). Teacher-child relationship quality and peer victimization were measured by student self-report, peer rejection by peer-report. Cross-lagged analyses showed that rejection predicted victimization from wave 1 to wave 2. In turn, more victimization predicted more rejection throughout the whole school year. More supportive teacher-child relationships predicted less victimization. Additionally, more victimization (wave 1) predicted less supportive relationships with teachers (wave 2). Peer rejection and teacher-child relationships were found to have unique, additive effects on victimization in early adolescence over time. Therefore, to effectively intervene in victimization processes, relationships with both peers and teachers need to be considered.
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The authors would like to thank the participants of the study and the students and lecturers Applied Psychology, University College Thomas More, Antwerp, who conducted the data collection.
This study was funded by Research Foundation Flanders (grant G071317N).Data Sharing and Declaration
The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of University College Thomas More (Date: 15/09/2014).
Active parental informed consent was obtained for all participants prior to data collection.
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Demol, K., Leflot, G., Verschueren, K. et al. Revealing the Transactional Associations among Teacher-Child Relationships, Peer Rejection and Peer Victimization in Early Adolescence. J Youth Adolescence (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01269-z
- Physical victimization
- Relational victimization
- Teacher-child relationships
- Peer rejection
- Longitudinal design