Being Bullied by Same- versus Other-Sex Peers: Does It Matter for Adolescent Victims?
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Child Health Promotion Research Centre
The negative consequences of peer victimization on psychosocial adjustment are well documented. The consequences, however, may depend on who the bullies are. In this study, we examined the consequences of same- versus other-sex victimization. The sample consisted of 4,941 Finnish adolescents (ages 14-15; 47.7% boys). We used structural equation modeling to examine both concurrent and longitudinal associations of same- and other-sex victimization with depression, negative perception of peers, and social self-esteem. Both same- and other-sex victimization were related to psychosocial adjustment. Concurrently, the victimization experiences with same-sex peers in particular were associated with generalized cognitions about peers, whereas being bullied by other-sex peers was related to adolescents' social self-esteem more strongly than victimization by same-sex peers. The longitudinal associations, in turn, showed that only being bullied by boys had carry-over effects on girls' adjustment. Other-sex victimization can have serious consequences especially on girls' psychosocial adjustment. [Supplementary material is available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology for the following supplemental resource: Complementary information on model fit indices and the nested model chi-square difference tests.].