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Lepore SJ , Kliewer W
Social Intelligence Attenuates Association between Peer Victimization and Depressive Symptoms among Adolescents
Psychol Violence. 2019 Nov;9(6) :644-652
PMID: 31673477    PMCID: PMC6822980   
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Objective: Peer victimization is linked to psychological distress, but some youth are less affected than others. Identifying protective factors can inform prevention programs. Using longitudinal data from 7(th) graders we tested the role of social intelligence as a protective factor in the relation between peer victimization and depressive symptoms. Method: Students (N = 986; 54% female; 43% non-white) from three schools provided self-report data via computer-assisted survey interviews in the fall (Time 1, T1) and spring (Time 2, T2) of 7(th) grade. Results: Females reported more depressive symptoms and less physical victimization than males but did not differ from males on social intelligence or relational victimization. Regression analyses controlling for T1 depressive symptoms and other potential confounds revealed that both physical and relational victimization were positively and significantly associated with T2 depressive symptoms, but the strength of the relation varied by gender and by social intelligence. Specifically, the associations between victimization and depressive symptoms were stronger among females than males and among those with low or moderate rather than high social intelligence. Conclusions: Social intelligence may protect youth from the psychological harms of peer victimization and could be an effective target of prevention programming.
Lepore, Stephen J Kliewer, Wendy R01 MH081166/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States Journal Article United States Psychol Violence. 2019 Nov;9(6):644-652. doi: 10.1037/vio0000234.