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The temporal ordering of depression, aggression, and victimization has important implications for theory, policy, and practice. For a representative sample of high school students (Grades 7–10; N = 3,793) who completed the same psychometrically strong, multiitem scales 6 times over a 2-year period, there were reciprocal effects between relational-aggression and relational-victimization factors: aggression led to subsequent victimization and victimization led to subsequent aggression. After controlling for prior depression, aggression, and victimization, depression had a positive effect on subsequent victimization, but victimization had no effect on subsequent depression. Aggression neither affected nor was affected by depression. The results suggest that depression is a selection factor that leads to victimization, but that victimization has little or no effect on subsequent depression beyond what can be explained by the preexisting depression. In support of developmental equilibrium, the results were consistent across the 6 waves. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access