Abstract

This study examines links between overt and relational victimization and the quality of children's best friendships. Third-grade through fifth-grade children completed measures in the fall (n = 675) and spring (n = 620). There were strong concurrent associations between both types of victimization and friendship quality. Controlling for aggression, higher levels of overt victimization were associated with more conflict and less security and closeness with friends in the fall and less companionship in the spring. Higher levels of relational victimization were associated with more conflictual friendships. Children with very close friendships and conflict-ridden friendships reported more relational victimization. Overt victimization was predicted by a low level of security and a high level of help. In longitudinal analyses, children who reported low levels of help in the fall experienced increases in relational victimization over the year. None of these effects was moderated by gender. Finally, the timing (rather than the duration) of victimization was most related to friendship quality. These findings point to the importance of considering the different interpersonal antecedents and consequences of relational victimization when compared with overt victimization.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0266
Print ISSN
0272-930X
Pages
pp. 158-185
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-12
Open Access
No
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