Peer Victimization of Maltreated Youth: Distinct Risk for Physically Abused Versus Neglected Children

Mandy A. O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although child abuse is associated with peer victimization in adolescence, few studies have assessed if maltreated children experiencing only neglect are at increased risk as well. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk of peer victimization for maltreated youth who have been physically abused versus neglected to guide targeted bully prevention efforts in schools. METHODS: Utilizing LONGSCAN archived data collected between 1991 and 2012, children physically abused or neglected in the first 12 years of life were assessed for physically aggressive peer victimization at age 16, compared to nonmaltreated children, with a total sample size of 650 participants. Logistic regression analysis assessed odds of peer victimization based on maltreatment profile. RESULTS: Children physically abused were twice as likely to experience physically aggressive peer victimization, compared to the nonmaltreated group. Children experiencing only neglect were not at greater odds of being physically victimized by peers. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates physically abused children's risk of problems with aggressive peer victimization, in contrast to children neglected who are not at increased risk. These results contribute to our understanding of risk of peer victimization, and can inform targeted bully prevention efforts in schools for the child with a history of maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • LONGSCAN
  • bullying
  • child neglect
  • peer victimization
  • physical abuse

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