Divergence in Self- and Peer-Reported Victimization and its Association to Concurrent and Prospective Adjustment

Scholte, Ron H. J.; Burk, William J.; Overbeek, Geertjan
December 2013
Journal of Youth & Adolescence;Dec2013, Vol. 42 Issue 12, p1789
Academic Journal
Previous studies on victimization have either used self-reports of peer-reports, but correspondence between these measures is low, implying that types of victims may exist that differ in convergence between self- and peer-reported victimization. Importantly, the very few studies that do exist on such types were cross-sectional, and did not address the stability nor predictive validity in terms of adjustment of these types. Using a person-centered approach, the present study identified types of victims that were either convergent or divergent in self- and peer-reported victimization, and examined how these types differed in concurrent and prospective adjustment. Participants were 1,346 adolescents (50 % girls, mean age 14.2) who were followed for 1 year. Using Latent Profile Analysis, we identified two convergent types (self-peer identified victims and non-victims) and two divergent types (self-identified and peer-identified) of victims. The types were highly stable over time. Self-peer identified victims were not only concurrently but also prospectively the least well adjusted. Self-identified victims showed lower levels of emotional adjustment but did not show problems on social adjustment. On the other hand, peer-identified victims were at risk for social but not emotional maladjustment. The findings corroborate previous studies that suggest that self-reported victimization is related to emotional problems, while peer-reported victimization is more indicative of social problems. The findings also suggest that using self-reports or peer-reports only may lead to incomplete conclusions about victims’ adjustment on different domains.


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