The bidirectional relationships between peer victimization and internalizing problems in school-aged children: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Stefanny Christina, Natasha R. Magson*, Vani Kakar, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The current research examined the bidirectional effects between internalizing problems and peer victimization within a meta-analytic framework. The study also investigated several potential moderators of these effects which have not been examined previously in relation to meta-analytic studies. Only longitudinal studies examining the association between internalizing symptoms and peer victimization from five online databases were included and after screening 7,122 articles, 85 studies were included with a total of 117,520 participants. Results supported a bidirectional relationship between internalizing symptoms and peer victimization with small effects for both: victimization to internalizing, r = .18 and internalizing to victimization, r = .19. There were few differences between effects based on moderators. The effects were consistent across youth's age and sex. Although significant effects in both directions were shown for most forms of victimization, internalizing more strongly predicted cyber victimization than traditional forms of victimization. The results hold implications for theories of the interplay between peer relationships and internalizing psychopathology and may help to improve treatment or early intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101979
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • peer victimization
  • internalizing symptoms
  • bullying
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • meta-analysis

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