The present study examined indices of friends' social adjustment (prosocial skills and social anxiety) that may protect against or exacerbate vulnerability to lower academic competence in the context of peer victimization during middle school (N= 320). Peer victimization was assessed with peer nominations, social anxiety was measured with self reports, and prosocial skills and academic competence were assessed with teacher ratings. Friends' prosocial skills were associated with early adolescents' higher academic competence, and friends' social anxiety was associated with lower academic competence, controlling for sex, grade, early adolescents' peer victimization, and total number of mutual friends. Moreover, the association between peer victimization and lower academic competence was attenuated among early adolescents with high-prosocial friends. Results contribute to the body of research that supports and informs peer-focused victimization prevention programs as well as universal social-emotional learning programs.
- Academic competence
- Early adolescence
- Peer victimization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology