Overprotective Parenting and Peer Victimization in Extremely Low Birth Weight Survivors
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Extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000g) survivors are at increased risk for experiencing both peer victimization and overprotective parenting. This study investigated if overprotective parenting moderated associations between peer victimization and psychopathology among ELBW adult survivors who have been followed since birth. Participants included 81 (31 male, 50 female) adults born with an extremely low birth weight from Ontario, Canada. The participants were predominately Caucasian. The experience of peer victimization and overprotective parenting prior to age 16 was self-reported at age 22-26 years. Peer victimization was reported using the Childhood Experiences of Violence Questionnaire and overprotective parenting was reported using the Parental Bonding Instrument. Current anxiety disorder and alcohol or substance use disorder was assessed using the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview at age 29-36 years. The experience of overprotective parenting moderated the association between peer victimization and risk for an anxiety disorder in adulthood (OR=2.35, 95%CI, 1.01-5.50). If the ELBW survivor reported having an overprotective parent, peer victimization was associated with increased risk for having an anxiety disorder in adulthood (OR=2.45, 95%CI, 1.13-5.30). In contrast, this association was not significant in the absence of an overprotective parent (OR=1.04, 95%CI, 0.73-1.49). Future research should further investigate if parental support and encouragement of children's independence may be important for reducing the negative effects of peer victimization among ELBW survivors.
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