Parents’ Responses to Peer Victimization: Associations With Early Adolescent Coping and Peer Victimization

Kelly M. Tu, Stephen A. Erath, Gregory S. Pettit, Carlynn Vandenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prospective associations linking parental responses to peer victimization (i.e., coping suggestions, school contact) with adolescents’ coping and experiences of peer victimization were examined. Participants were 203 adolescents ((Formula presented.) = 12.16 years, SD = 0.98) and a parent (81% mothers). At Time 1, parents provided open-ended responses to a hypothetical peer victimization scenario. At Time 1 and Time 2, adolescents reported on peer victimization and coping with peer victimization. Parents’ active-engaged responses to the hypothetical scenario (e.g., approaching the school) predicted more adolescent-reported conflict resolution and support seeking, whereas parents’ passive-disengaged responses (e.g., tell an adult) predicted less adolescent-reported support seeking over time. Somewhat surprisingly, parents’ positive and negative appraisals predicted less conflict resolution and revenge seeking, respectively. Parents’ suggestions to be assertive predicted more peer victimization over time. Some gender differences emerged in associations between parents’ responses and adolescents’ coping and peer victimization. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-196
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • bullying
  • coping
  • early adolescence
  • parenting
  • peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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