Peer Victimization and Social-Psychological Adjustment in Hispanic and African-American Children

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We examined the relation of overt and relational victimization to depressive symptoms, fear of negative evaluation (FNE), social avoidance, and loneliness in a sample of Hispanic and African-American children. The Social Experience Questionnaire, Children's Depression Inventory, Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised, and Asher Loneliness Scale were administered to 190 children in the fifth and sixth grades of an urban elementary school. Consistent with prior work, overt victimization was positively associated with depressive symptoms, FNE, social avoidance, and loneliness for both boys and girls. Relational victimization was found to be uniquely associated with depressive symptoms, FNE, and social avoidance of general situations for girls only. Prosocial behaviors from peers moderated the effects of relational victimization on loneliness, but no other social-psychological adjustment variables. Implications of our findings for the role of peer victimization and prosocial behaviors in the peer relationships of Hispanic and African-American children are discussed.



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