Long-term adult outcomes of peer victimization in childhood and adolescence: Pathways to adjustment and maladjustment.
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The study of peer victimization has drawn together researchers, parents, teachers, and health professionals around the world in an effort to make change. Research attention has focused on the question of whether peer victimization in childhood and adolescence leads to lasting and serious negative ramifications in the lives of young people. We consider the wealth of information documenting the troubling adjustment that follows peer victimization within childhood and adolescence. Findings from prospective studies tracking children and adolescents into young adulthood are presented and synthesized. Using the construct of "multifinality" as our framework, we explore why it might be that early peer victimization does not have the same impact on all young people by considering factors that place individuals at greater risk or appear to protect them from more lasting harm. In addition to a need for carefully planned prospective studies, the field would benefit from the use of qualitative studies aimed at elucidating possible causal, concurrent, and resultant mechanisms involved with victimization.
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