The Influence of Static and Dynamic Intrapersonal Factors on Longitudinal Patterns of Peer Victimization through Mid-adolescence: a Latent Transition Analysis
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Using 6 cycles (grade 5 through grade 10) of data obtained from a large prospective sample of Canadian school children (N = 700; 52.6% girls), we replicated previous findings concerning the empirical definition of peer victimization (i.e., being bullied) and examined static and dynamic intrapersonal factors associated with its emergence and experiential continuity through mid-adolescence. Latent class analyses consistently revealed a low victimization and an elevated victimization class across time, supporting previous work suggesting peer victimization was defined by degree rather than by type (e.g., physical). Using latent transition analyses (LTA), we found that child sex, parent-perceived pubertal development, and internalizing symptoms influenced the probability of transitioning from the low to the elevated victimization class across time. Higher-order extensions within the LTA modeling framework revealed a lasting effect of grade 5 victimization status on grade 10 victimization status and a large effect of chronic victimization on later parent-reported youth internalizing symptoms (net of prior parent-reported internalizing symptoms) in later adolescence (grade 11). Implications of the current findings for the experience of peer victimization, as well as the application of latent transition analysis as a useful approach for peer victimization research, are discussed.