WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There are four developmental patterns of peer victimization across childhood, and family vulnerabilities are associated with development of distinct trajectories, according to a study published online April 1 in Pediatrics.

Sinziana I. Oncioiu, M.P.H., from the University of Bordeaux in France, and colleagues described developmental trajectories of peer victimization from 6 to 17 years of age using data from 1,760 children enrolled in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development population-based birth cohort. Peer victimization was self-reported at ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17 years.

The researchers identified four trajectories of peer victimization from age 6 to 17 years: low, moderate-emerging, childhood-limited, and high-chronic (32.9, 29.8, 26.2, and 11.1 percent, respectively). The likelihood of exhibiting externalizing behaviors in early childhood was increased in the moderate-emerging, childhood-limited, and high-chronic trajectories versus the low peer victimization trajectory; children in the high-chronic and moderate-emerging trajectories were more likely to be boys. Paternal history of antisocial behavior was associated with moderate-emerging and high-chronic versus low peer victimization (odds ratios, 1.54 and 1.93, respectively). Living in a nonintact family in early childhood was associated with childhood-limited and high-chronic versus low peer victimization (odds ratios, 1.48 and 1.59, respectively).

“To prevent persistent peer victimization, children who are victimized should be offered targeted interventions that address these individual and family vulnerabilities early in their school careers,” the authors write.

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