Chronic peer victimization heightens neural sensitivity to risk taking

Eva H. Telzer, Michelle E. Miernicki, Karen D. Rudolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although behavioral and experimental studies have shown links between victimization and antisocial behavior, the neural correlates explaining this link are relatively unknown. In the current study, we recruited adolescent girls from a longitudinal study that tracked youths' reports of peer victimization experiences annually from the second through eighth grades. Based on these reports, 46 adolescents were recruited: 25 chronically victimized and 21 nonvictimized. During a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan, participants completed a risk-taking task. Chronic peer victimization was associated with greater risk-taking behavior during the task and higher levels of self-reported antisocial behavior in everyday life. At the neural level, chronically victimized girls showed greater activation in regions involved in affective sensitivity, social cognition, and cognitive control, which significantly mediated victimization group differences in self-reported antisocial behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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