Research on bullying and victimization largely rests on univariate analyses and on reports from a single informant. Researchers may thus know too little about the simultaneous effects of various independent and dependent variables, and their research may be biased by shared method variance. The database for this Dutch study was large (N = 1,065) and rich enough to allow multivariate analysis and multi-source information. In addition, the effect of familial vulnerability for internalizing and externalizing disorders was studied. Gender, aggressiveness, isolation, and dislikability were most strongly related to bullying and victimization. Among the many findings that deviated from or enhanced the univariate knowledge base were that not only victims and bully/victims but bullies as well were disliked and that parenting was unrelated to bullying and victimization once other factors were controlled.
Abstract. Since non-response may jeopardize the validity of studies, comprehensive assessment of nonresponse is a prerequisite for proper interpretation of study findings. Recently, the baseline assessment of the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a prospective cohort study among Dutch pre-adolescents, was completed. The aim of this report is to examine non-response bias by comparing responders and non-responders regarding mental health determinants (e.g., demographics and cognitive performance) and outcomes, as well as associations between the two. Furthermore, we examine whether extended efforts to recruit participants contribute to the prevention or reduction of nonresponse bias. Thanks to various recruitment procedures, the initial response rate of 66% increased to a final rate of 76%. The extended efforts to recruit participants prevented non-response bias in the prevalence rates of psychopathology. Although nonresponders differed from responders with respect to several individual characteristics, no significant differences were found regarding associations between these characteristics and psychopathology. We conclude that TRAILS provides a solid basis to improve our understanding of the development of mental health during adolescence.
This study investigates how temperament factors are linked to internalizing and externalizing problems in a Dutch population sample of preadolescents~N ϭ 2230!. Internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist and the Youth Self-Report and temperament was evaluated by the parent-version of the Revised Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire. Temperament profiles were examined in children with~a! neither internalizing nor externalizing problems,~b! only internalizing problems,~c! only externalizing problems, and~d! both internalizing and externalizing problems. The results suggest clearly diverging temperament profiles for these groups of children, with High-Intensity Pleasure and Shyness~representing the broad dimension of Surgency! steering the conditional probability of internalizing and externalizing problems~direction markers!, Frustration mainly being related to maladaptation in general~severity marker!, and Fear and Effortful Control being associated with both the severity and the direction of internalizing and externalizing problems, respectively. Girls and boys differed in the distribution across the problem groups, but the associations between temperament and psychopathology were comparable for both genders. This research is part of the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey~TRAILS!. Participating centers of TRAILS include various Departments of the University of Groningen, the Erasmus Medical Center of Rotterdam,
Researchers have become increasingly interested in disentangling selection and influence processes. This literature review provides context for the special issue on network-behavior dynamics. It brings together important conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions focusing on longitudinal social network modeling. First, an overview of mechanisms underlying selection and influence is given. After a description of the shortcomings of previous studies in this area, the stochastic actor-based model is sketched; this is used in this special issue to examine network-behavior dynamics. The preconditions for such analyses are discussed, as are common model specification issues. Next, recent empirical advances in research on adolescence are discussed, focusing on new insights into moderating effects, initiation of behaviors, time heterogeneity, mediation effects, and negative ties.Relationships with peers provide an important context for social development and adjustment. Two fundamental processes underlying network-behavior dynamics are key to our understanding of adolescents' development: selection and influence. Selection processes concern, for example, whom adolescents choose to hang out or be friends with. They affect the formation and dissolution of relationships. One important and well-known class of selection processes is based on similarity. Beginning in early childhood, children tend to sort themselves nonrandomly into friendships, selecting peers who are more or less similar to themselves. However, similarity is not the only possible basis of relationships. Selection processes refer more generally to any mechanism by which individuals adjust their relationships in response to the social context, their own behaviors, and their peers' behaviors.In contrast, peer relationships also shape individual behaviors and other changeable characteristics (e.g., attitudes and opinions). Whom adolescents hang out with and whom they consider to be friends affects their individual development. Influence processes refer more generally to individuals changing their behavior or attitudes in response to (the behavior or attitudes of) the peers they affiliate with.A methodological challenge here is that selection and influence processes might both result in the same empirical phenomenon: similarity of connected individuals. This similarity may result from similar individuals choosing each other (selection), which suggests that behavior remains similar, but relationships change, or from connected individuals becoming increasingly similar (influence), which suggests that relationships remain stable but behavior changes. This shows, first, that longitudinal analysis is necessary if one aims to assess selection and influence processes. Second, the sequence of changes in the network and the behavior represents the mutual dependence between network dynamics and behavior dynamics. It is, therefore, necessary to examine behavior and network dynamics simultaneously, using a method that is capable of accounting for this simultane...
The literature suggests that status goals are one of the driving motivations behind bullying behavior, yet this conjecture has rarely if ever been examined empirically. This study assessed status goals in three ways, using dyadic network analysis to analyze the relations and goals among 10-11 and 14-15 year olds in 22 school classes (N boys=225; N girls=277). As a validation bullies were contrasted with victims. Bullies had direct status goals (measured with the Interpersonal Goal Inventory for Children) and showed dominance as measured with proactive aggression. Moreover, as predicted from a goal perspective, bullying behavior was related to prestige in terms of perceived popularity. In contrast, victims lacked status goals, were only reactively aggressive, and low on prestige. That being popular is not the same as being liked could be shown by the fact that bullies were just as rejected as victims by their classmates. Eighth-grade bullies had more direct status goals than fourth-grade bullies, possibly indicating that striving for the popularity component of status increases in early adolescence.
The complex interplay between bullying/victimization and defending was examined using a longitudinal social network approach (stochastic actor-based models). The (co)evolution of these relations within three elementary schools (Grades 2-5 at Time 1, ages 8-11, N = 354 children) was investigated across three time points within a year. Most bullies and defenders were in the same grade as the victims, although a substantial number of bullies and defenders were in other grades (most often one grade higher). Defenders were usually of the same gender as the victims, whereas most bullies were boys, with boys bullying both boys and girls. In line with goal-framing theory, multiplex network analyses provided evidence for the social support hypothesis (victims with the same bullies defended each other over time) as well as the retaliation hypothesis (defenders run the risk of becoming victimized by the bullies of the victims they defend). In addition, the analysis revealed that bullies with the same victims defended each other over time and that defenders of bullies initiated harassment of those bullies' victims. This study can be seen as a starting point in unraveling the relationship dynamics among bullying, victimization, and defending networks in schools.
To understand the complex nature of bullies' acceptance and rejection, this article considered goal-framing effects of status and affection as they relate to the gender of the bully (male vs. female bullies), the target (male vs. female victims), and the evaluator (acceptance and rejection from male vs. female classmates). The hypotheses were tested with data from a social network questionnaire conducted in 26 elementary school classes (N = 481 children; M age = 10.5 years). The findings revealed that bullies were only rejected by those for whom they were a potential threat and that bullies generally chose their victims so as to minimize loss of affection by choosing victims who were not likely to be defended by significant others.
BackgroundBullying and victimization are widespread phenomena in childhood and can have a serious impact on well-being. Children from families with a low socioeconomic background have an increased risk of this behaviour, but it is unknown whether socioeconomic status (SES) of school neighbourhoods is also related to bullying behaviour. Furthermore, as previous bullying research mainly focused on older children and adolescents, it remains unclear to what extent bullying and victimization affects the lives of younger children. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and socioeconomic disparities in bullying behaviour among young elementary school children.MethodsThe study was part of a population-based survey in the Netherlands. Teacher reports of bullying behaviour and indicators of SES of families and schools were available for 6379 children aged 5–6 years.ResultsOne-third of the children were involved in bullying, most of them as bullies (17%) or bully-victims (13%), and less as pure victims (4%). All indicators of low family SES and poor school neighbourhood SES were associated with an increased risk of being a bully or bully-victim. Parental educational level was the only indicator of SES related with victimization. The influence of school neighbourhood SES on bullying attenuated to statistical non-significance once adjusted for family SES.ConclusionsBullying and victimization are already common problems in early elementary school. Children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, rather than children visiting schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, have a particularly high risk of involvement in bullying. These findings suggest the need of timely bullying preventions and interventions that should have a special focus on children of families with a low socioeconomic background. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs.
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