Category: Child / Adolescent - School-Related Issues
Peer victimization, bullying, and low levels of prosocial behavior are linked to youth psychopathology, including oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depressive symptoms (Kretschmer et al., 2015). However, reports of peer processes and symptoms are likely influenced by context and informant (Vuori et al., 2016). The present study identified profiles of youth who differ in frequency and/or quality of peer processes as rated by parents, teachers, and youth, and whether profiles differ in ODD, ADHD, and depressive symptoms rated by these informants. Participants were 104 low income, urban youth (M=9.95 ±1.23 years; 50% male; 96% African American). Peer victimization, bullying, and prosocial behaviors were rated by parents with My Child’s Behavior with Other Children questionnaire; youth with the Peer Social Support, Bullying, and Victimization Questionnaire; and teachers with the Interactions with Other Children scale (Crick et al., 1996). ODD, ADHD, and depressive symptoms were rated by parents and teachers using the Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory-4R and youth with the Youth’s Inventory-4 (Gadow & Sprafkin, 1994, 2005). Latent profile analysis was used to identify peer process profiles. A four-class model best fit the data based on fit indices (e.g., BIC, AIC, BLRT); class size; and entropy. For profiles, “low” refers to lower problems (lower victimization/bullying, higher prosocial behavior); “high” refers to higher problems (higher victimization/bullying, lower prosocial behavior). The 4 profiles were (1) low child-report (CR)/high teacher-report (TR) (n=12); (2) moderate CR+parent-report (PR)/low TR (n=58); (3) high cross-informant (n=7); and (4) moderate PR+TR (n =27). The high cross-informant class exhibited higher PR ODD (χ2=19.58, p < .005) and ADHD (χ2=17.78, p < .005) symptoms than the moderate CR+PR/low TR and moderate PR+TR classes. The low CR/high TR class had higher TR (a) ODD (χ2=465.53, p < .005) and depressive (χ2=27.04, p < .005) symptoms than the moderate CR+PR/low TR class and (b) ADHD symptoms (χ2=42.28, p < .005) than the moderate PR+TR class. The moderate PR+TR class exhibited higher CR depressive (χ2=9.17, p=.027) and ADHD (χ2=20.88, p < .005) symptoms than the low CR/high TR class and lower ODD (χ2=21.09, p < .005) symptoms than the high cross-informant class. The moderate CR+PR/low TR class exhibited low symptoms across respondents, whereas the high cross-informant class exhibited elevated symptoms overall. When more informants report higher levels of peer problems, youth may be at a greater risk for psychological problems. Context-based interventions targeting peer victimization and/or aggression should include multiple informants’ reports of peer processes.