Category: Parenting / Families
Peer Victimization (PV) is associated with a myriad of psychosocial and adjustment problems and accurate assessment of these experiences is imperative. Studies examining informant discrepancies for PV have focused on comparing child and teacher reports among community samples of children; however, relatively little work has been done examining the relation between parent and child reports of PV. This is especially important considering that parents are charged with the important tasks of socializing their child’s behaviors, helping decrease or possibly extinguish behaviors that might place them at risk for PV, and comforting their child when instances of PV occur. The current study sought to examine parental and child factors that might predict parent and child reports of child PV.
Participants included 124 children between the ages of 6 and 12 admitted for treatment to an acute child psychiatric inpatient unit (M age = 9.06, SD = 2.08). The majority of the children were male (68%); 57% were African American and 38% were Caucasian. Most of the children were diagnosed with a behavioral disorder (e.g., ADHD/ODD; 57%) or a mood or anxiety disorder (e.g., depression/generalized anxiety 33%). At the time of their admission, parents and children completed standardized measures including the Child Behavior Checklist, Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25, Alabama Parenting Questionnaire, the Children’s Depression Inventory-2 Short Form, Parent and Self Report Victimization Scale, and the Children’s Sadness Scale.
Tests of differences revealed that parents and children reported similar levels of PV [t(123) = .93, p = .35), thus further analyses examining predictors of discrepancies were not completed. Correlational analyses were performed to examine the relation between reports of PV and demographic/study variables. Results revealed that parent report of PV was related to child age and CBCL Internalizing symptoms (r’s = .19 and .22, p < .05, respectively) while child report of PV was significantly related to the CDI-2 Short Form and the CSS subscale of sadness emotion dysregulation (r’s = .33 and .30, p < .05, respectively). Separate hierarchical regressions were performed for parent and child reported PV. For both analyses, demographic variables of age and gender were entered in Step 1, study variables with significant correlations to parent/child PV were entered in Step 2, and the interaction of any significant main effects were entered in Step 3. For parent reported PV, only CBCL Internalizing symptoms emerged as a predictor (β = .19, p < .05). Consequently, no interactions were evaluated. For child reported PV, both sadness emotion dysregulation (β = .19, p < .05) and child depressive symptomatology (β = .19, p < .05) were significant predictors after controlling for age and gender. The addition of the interaction was not significant.
The results suggest that among a clinical population of children, there do not seem to be discrepancies between parent and child report of victimization. However, predictors of parent and child report differed with only internalizing symptoms predicting parent report of PV while depressive symptoms and sadness dysregulation predicted child reported of PV.
Abbey Harris– University of Alabama at Birmingham
Laura Stoppelbein– University of Alabama at Birmingham
Elizabeth McRae– Psychology Graduate Student, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Leilani Greening– University of Mississippi of Medical Center
Psychology Graduate Student
University of Alabama at Birmingham