Protecting Youth Against the Adverse Effects of Peer Victimization: Why Do Parents Matter?

Karen D. Rudolph, Jennifer D. Monti, Haina Modi, Wing Yan Sze, Wendy Troop-Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure to peer victimization is associated with a variety of adverse outcomes but there is individual variability in its effects, suggesting the need to identify why some youth are resilient in the face of victimization. This research examined whether (a) high-quality parent-child relationships protect youth against the effects of peer victimization on psychopathology (antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms); and (b) mitigation of social risks (deviant peer group affiliation and social helplessness) accounts for the protective effects of high-quality parent-child relationships. Youths (N = 636; 338 girls, 298 boys; Mage in 5th grade = 10.94; SD = 0.36) and their teachers completed survey measures at three annual waves across the transition to middle school (5th - 7th grade). Path analyses indicated that high-quality parent-child relationships attenuated the effects of pre-transition victimization on post-transition antisocial behavior, depressive symptoms, and social risks, with some effects differing by gender. As predicted, results suggested that the protective effect against antisocial behavior may operate through mitigated deviant peer group affiliation. This research identifies one key protective factor that contributes to resilience among victimized youth and suggests the importance of incorporating parental support into prevention programs for victimized youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Antisocial behavior
  • Depression
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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