The present study examined whether skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) moderated prospective associations linking peer victimization with externalizing behaviors and depressive symptoms across the transition to middle school. Participants included 123 early adolescents (M age = 12.03 years at T1; 50% male; 58.5% European Americans, 35% African Americans, 6.5% of other races/ethnicities). At Time 1, SCLR was measured in the context of peer-evaluative challenges, and early adolescents and teachers reported on peer victimization. At Time 1 and Time 2, early adolescents and parents reported on depressive symptoms and externalizing behaviors, respectively. SCLR moderated prospective associations between peer victimization and depressive symptoms, such that both adolescent- and teacher-reported peer victimization predicted higher Time 2 depressive symptoms more strongly at lower levels of SCLR compared to higher levels of SCLR. SCLR did not moderate the prospective association between peer victimization and externalizing behaviors. Results of the present study suggest that low reactivity in the inhibitory dimension of the sympathetic nervous system may increase vulnerability to depressive symptoms in the context of peer victimization, whereas higher reactivity may operate as a protective factor.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology|
|State||Published - Nov 2 2018|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology