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Hodges, E. V., & Perry, D. G. (1999). Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimization by peers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 677–685.

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173 third through seventh grade students participated in this study. The Peer Nomination Inventory was used to measure victimization, physical strength, and a variety of indexes of both externalizing and internalizing problems. Children checked off the names of same-sex peers in their grade who manifested the behavior described in each item.

Results: Internalizing problems, physical weakness, and peer rejection contributed uniquely to gains in victimization over a one year period. Peer rejection functioned as a contextual factor that governed the degree to which prior internalizing problems and physical weakness led to increased victimization by peers. Initial victimization predicted increases in later internalizing symptoms and peer rejection.

Discussion: Children who display internalizing difficulties—who are manifestly anxious, prone to crying and displays of sadness, and socially withdrawn—may be targeted for victimization, because their behaviors signal that they will be unable to defend themselves successfully against attacks.