Peer aggression among adolescents: characteristics of the victims
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Peer aggression is a significant problem among adolescents; it is relatively common and frequently experienced among adolescents. Recently, there has been growing attention to the occurrence and impact of bullying on adolescent's well being at school. There is still a lot to learn about why certain adolescents are targets for bullying. This study explores how certain personality traits, behaviors, and social status may be predictors for those who are targeted as victims of peer aggression. Students in three middle schools and one junior high school from three different school districts in Texas were asked to participate in this study. The sample consisted of 233 students. Students were both males and females who were attending 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and were between the ages of 12 and 15. Data was aggregated for each participating student from demographic information collected from the Cover Sheet, with participant demographics, Bullying/Victimization Scale (BVS), Behavior Assessment System for Children - Self-Report (BASC-SRP), and Social Support Scale for Children and Adolescents (Social Support - CFS). The data obtained supported the expectation that adolescents who presented with symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, high external locus of control, low self-reliance, and high sense of inadequacy are more likely to become victims of peer aggression than adolescents who are more socially competent, more psychologically well-adjusted, and who have a higher internal locus of control. Additionally, adolescents who show signs of social stress may also be more likely to become victims of peer aggression. This is an important step in the needed research because the victim is often overlooked when peer aggression is occurring. Identification of potential victims and assistance with development of their social skills may aid them in avoiding acts of peer aggression.
D'Esposito, Susan Elaine (2006). Peer aggression among adolescents: characteristics of the victims. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from