Peer Victimization, Depressive Symptoms, and Rule-Breaking Behavior in Adolescence: The Moderating Role of Peer Social Support

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The current study examined whether peer social support, alone or in conjunction with peer delinquency, moderated the relations between overt and relational victimization, depressive symptoms, and rule-breaking behavior. Participants included 152 adolescents (55% male; 95% Latino) between the ages of 14–19 and their second-hour teacher. Findings indicated that peer social support buffered the association between relational victimization and depressive symptoms. Overt victimization was uniquely related to increased rule-breaking behavior, but unrelated to depressive symptoms. Peer social support and peer delinquency interacted to influence the association between relational victimization and rule-breaking behavior. When levels of both social support and peer delinquency were high, relational victimization marginally significantly predicted increased rule-breaking behavior. Relational victimization was unrelated to rule-breaking behavior when levels of peer delinquency were high and social support were low. The moderating effects of peer social support did not differ according to gender. Implications of findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cooley, JL; Fite, PJ; Rubens, SL; Tunno, AM

Published Date

  • September 11, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 512 - 522

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-3505

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0882-2689

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10862-014-9473-7

Citation Source

  • Scopus