TitlePeer victimization of children with disabilities
NameSon, Esther (author), Peterson, N. Andrew (chair), Pottick, Kathleen (internal member), Zippay, Allison (internal member), Lohrmann, Sharon (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Bullying in schools,
Children with disabilities—Psychology
DescriptionPeer victimization is a serious social problem that can negatively affect a child’s psychosocial development and school adjustment, and may have lasting effects for victims. Previous studies on peer victimization have suggested that children with disabilities (CWD) are likely to be more frequent targets of peer victimization. This longitudinal study analyzed three waves of data from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study data (N = 1,268). Using the child-by-environment model as a conceptual framework, the study examined the prevalence, nature, and pathways between child characteristics, family factors, school factors at Wave 1, peer-relation difficulties at Wave 2, and peer victimization at Wave 3. To account for the complex sampling used in the dataset, statistical analyses were conducted using Stata 10 and included descriptive analyses, cross-tabulations, Pearson correlations, and a path analysis with AMOS 17.0. The findings showed that one quarter to one third of pre-elementary CWD experienced some form of peer victimization in school. Peer victimization increased over the 3-year study period, and there were also substantial rates of multiple victimization among CWD. The path model showed an acceptable fit to the data. Two pathways explained the influence of risk and protective factors for peer victimization among young CWD. First, children’s environmental factors, such as low family income and spending more time in a special-education classroom setting, were associated with children’s poor social behaviors, which in turn affected peer-relation difficulties, and increased peer victimization. Second, CWD from low-income families and special-education classroom settings were more likely to have poor language development and social skills, which affected children’s peer-relation difficulties and increased peer victimization. These results suggest the need to provide bullying prevention and intervention strategies for CWD, which have been previously neglected in the context of school-based bullying prevention and intervention programs. Practical implications include developing programs tailored for CWD from low-income families and special-education classroom settings, providing mental health services for pre-elementary CWD, linking parents to available school and community resources to improve children’s language and social skills, and promoting polices to enhance social conditions for CWD.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Esther Son
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.