McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Rocio Hidalgo

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Major and Classification

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

    Laura Baker, Ph.D.

Department

    Psychology

McNair Project

Peer Victimization: Individual Differences in Race and Sex

Abstract
Self-reported peer victimization was examined in an ethnically diverse sample of boys and girls. The youth were assessed at four different time periods in a longitudinal study: Wave 1 (age 9-10); Wave 2 (age 11-13); Wave 3 (age 14-15); Wave 4 (age 16-18). In an effort to understand developmental and individual differences in peer victimization, mean differences were examined across waves and between the two sexes as well as by racial/ethnic groups. Findings showed a decrease in victimization over time. The highest level of self-reported victimization among youth occurred in childhood (Wave 1), followed by significant decreases across adolescence (Waves 2-4). Overall male youth were more likely to report being victimized at school across all waves when compared to females. Significant differences among racial and ethnic groups also appeared, with Hispanics and Blacks reporting higher levels of victimization compared to Caucasians, Asians, and Mixed groups. Further analyses indicated a change in victimization patterns across time as physical, verbal, or exile victimization was measured in all waves. Further research is needed in order to further examine racial/ethnic and gender differences to better understand victimization patterns among diverse populations. Collecting information in order to understand how each community is different may be important in creating effective programs for intervention and prevention.