Stability and Change in Patterns of Peer Victimization and Aggression during Adolescence

Amie Bettencourt, Albert Farrell, Weiwei Liu, Terri Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study identified classes of adolescents who differed in their patterns of reported aggression and victimization, examined the stability of these patterns, and explored factors associated with changes in patterns across time. Participants were 477 students from an urban and an adjoining county school system. The overall sample was 48% male and had an average age of 11.3 years. The urban sample was predominantly African American (80%); the county sample was primarily Caucasian (40%) and African American (38%). Self-report aggression and victimization measures completed at the beginning of sixth grade and the end of seventh grade were analyzed using latent class analyses and latent transition analyses. Support was found for four classes: nonvictimized aggressors, aggressive-victims, predominantly victimized, and well-adjusted youth. Emotion dysregulation, anxiety, and site were associated with membership in the aggressive-victim class in the expected direction, providing support for the validity of the classes. The well-adjusted class was the most stable in class membership over time; the predominantly victimized class was the least stable. In addition, nonvictimized aggressors and predominantly victimized youth were more likely than those in the well-adjusted class to transition into the aggressive-victim class. These findings suggest notable stability in aggressor/victim classes over time and emphasize the importance of developing prevention programs that target the unique needs of distinct aggressor/victim classes in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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