Development of Bullying and Victimization: An Examination of Risk and Protective Factors in a High-Risk Sample

Jamie M. Ostrov, Kristin J. Perry, Rina D. Eiden, Amanda B. Nickerson, Pamela Schuetze, Stephanie A. Godleski, Shannon Shisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This prospective longitudinal study from birth to late adolescence investigated how early risk predicted subsequent aggression in middle childhood and bullying perpetration, bullying victimization, and violence victimization in adolescence. In addition, the moderating role of protective factors (i.e., maternal sensitivity, positive peers, and school connectedness) on these associations were examined. Caregiver-infant dyads (N = 216; 72% Black/African American) were recruited as part of a longitudinal study on substance exposed youth. Data using multiple methods and informants (observations, interviews, caregiver, and child/youth self-reports) were collected from dyads in early childhood (EC, birth to 48 months), middle childhood (MC, i.e., 84 months), early adolescence (EA, M = 13.26 years, SD =.83) and later adolescence (LA, M = 15.08 years, SD =.83). A developmental cascading path model was tested. There were direct associations between EC maternal harsh parenting and aggression in MC. In turn, MC aggression was associated with higher violence victimization and bullying in EA. Finally, EA violence victimization was then associated with higher levels of bullying as well as victimization from bullying in LA. Consistent with predictions, there was also evidence that protective factors (i.e., maternal sensitivity and positive peers) moderated the impact of predictor variables on aggression and bullying outcomes. Specifically, maternal sensitivity moderated the link between EC and MC aggression, such that those with moderately high levels of maternal sensitivity showed a negative relation between EC and MC aggression, whereas those with low levels of maternal sensitivity showed continuity in aggression. Positive peer influence moderated the link between violence victimization in EA and bullying in LA, such that children high on both violence victimization and positive peers had the highest levels of bullying victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5958-5984
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of Bullying and Victimization: An Examination of Risk and Protective Factors in a High-Risk Sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this