Adolescent patterns of peer victimization: Concurrent and longitudinal health correlates

Megan E. Ames, Bonnie J. Leadbeater, Gabriel J. Merrin, Clea M.B. Sturgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: We examined how heterogeneity in the patterns of adolescent experiences of different types and severity of peer victimization is associated with concurrent and longitudinal mental health, substance use, and physical health. Method: Data come from a randomly recruited community-based sample of youth (T1 ages 12–18; N = 662; 52% female) followed biennially across 10 years (T6 ages 22–29; n = 478; 55% female). Results: Using latent class analysis, we identified four classes of adolescent peer victimization: Low victimization (63%), Physical victimization only (15%), Relational victimization only (17%), and Poly-victimization (6%). Youth in the Poly-victimization class reported the most detrimental health consequences in adolescence (e.g., internalizing and externalizing symptoms, illicit drug use, physical symptoms, poor physical self-concept, physical activity) and in young adulthood (e.g., depressive symptoms, sleep problems). Youth in the Relational and Physical victimization classes also reported health problems, some of which persisted into young adulthood. Youth in the Low victimization class reported the fewest health concerns. Conclusions: Findings add to our understanding of how different types of adolescent victimization are related to mental health, substance use, and physical health problems both within adolescence and long-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12151
JournalJournal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescence
  • latent class analysis
  • mental health
  • peer victimization
  • physical health
  • substance use
  • young adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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