Bully Victimization: Selection and Influence Within Adolescent Friendship Networks and Cliques

Lodder, Gerine; Scholte, Ron; Cillessen, Antonius; Giletta, Matteo
January 2016
Journal of Youth & Adolescence;Jan2016, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p132
Academic Journal
Adolescents tend to form friendships with similar peers and, in turn, their friends further influence adolescents' behaviors and attitudes. Emerging work has shown that these selection and influence processes also might extend to bully victimization. However, no prior work has examined selection and influence effects involved in bully victimization within cliques, despite theoretical account emphasizing the importance of cliques in this regard. This study examined selection and influence processes in adolescence regarding bully victimization both at the level of the entire friendship network and the level of cliques. We used a two-wave design (5-month interval). Participants were 543 adolescents (50.1 % male, Mage = 15.8) in secondary education. Stochastic actor-based models indicated that at the level of the larger friendship network, adolescents tended to select friends with similar levels of bully victimization as they themselves. In addition, adolescent friends influenced each other in terms of bully victimization over time. Actor Parter Interdependence models showed that similarities in bully victimization between clique members were not due to selection of clique members. For boys, average clique bully victimization predicted individual bully victimization over time (influence), but not vice versa. No influence was found for girls, indicating that different mechanisms may underlie friend influence on bully victimization for girls and boys. The differences in results at the level of the larger friendship network versus the clique emphasize the importance of taking the type of friendship ties into account in research on selection and influence processes involved in bully victimization.


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