Peer Victimization in Extremely Low Birth Weight Survivors
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BACKGROUND: Extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000 g) children may be at risk for experiencing peer victimization. We examined retrospectively reported peer victimization in ELBW and control children in the oldest known, prospectively followed, population-based birth cohort of ELBW survivors. METHOD: We compared levels of verbal and physical peer victimization in ELBW and control children. We also predicted peer victimization in the ELBW sample from child characteristics. RESULTS: ELBW children, especially girls, were at an increased risk for verbal, but not physical victimization. In addition, ELBW children with a higher IQ reported higher levels of verbal victimization, although ELBW females who had a lower body mass index in childhood reported higher levels of physical victimization. CONCLUSION: Findings highlight the need for parents and clinicians to be aware that ELBW girls, especially those with a lower body mass index in childhood, may be at increased risk of peer victimization, as are ELBW children with a higher IQ.
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