Peer victimization: The role of emotions in adaptive and maladaptive coping

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255 Scopus citations


Mediator models were examined in which children's emotional reactions to peer aggression were hypothesized to mediate their selection of coping strategies and sub-sequent peer victimization and internalizing problems. Self-report data were collected from 145 ethnically diverse kindergarten through fifth grade children (66 females and 79 males) who attended a predominantly low- to middle-class school. Hypothetical scenarios were used to assess children's anticipated responses to peer aggression. Victims reported more intense negative emotions (e.g., fear and anger) than did nonvictims. Fear emerged as a predictor of advice seeking which, in turn, predicted conflict resolution and fewer internalizing problems. Conflict resolution was associated with reductions in victimization. Anger and embarrassment predicted revenge seeking which, in turn, was associated with increases in victimization. Additional pathways predicting changes in peer victimization across a single academic year as a function of children's emotional and coping responses to peer abuse are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


  • Coping strategies
  • Emotionality
  • Internalizing problems
  • Peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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