Navigating the social world: The role of social competence, peer victimisation and friendship quality in the development of social anxiety in childhood.
ABSTRACT: Social and communication (SC) difficulties predict increased social anxiety (SA) symptoms in childhood. Peer victimisation and friendship quality are commonly associated with both SC difficulties and SA. Based on this, we tested for a cascade effect of early SC difficulties, peer victimisation and friendship quality on SA in late childhood, using a population-based sample of 8028 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort. Parent-reported data were collected on SC difficulties at age 7 and SA at age 7, 10 and 13. Child-reported data on peer victimisation and friendship quality were collected at age 8. Our results revealed that SC difficulties predict increased negative friendship qualities and peer victimisation. Relational victimisation predicted increased SA symptoms at 13 years old. Neither overt nor relational victimisation mediated the developmental relationship between SC difficulties and SA. Furthermore, friendship quality did not moderate the developmental relationship between SC difficulties and SA. In addition, no sex differences were observed. The evidence demonstrates that peer victimisation and friendship quality do not explain why some children with SC difficulties go on to develop SA. Future research clarifying the complex etiological pathways contributing towards the development of SA in childhood and adolescence is warranted.
Project description:Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience many peer interaction problems and are at risk of peer rejection and victimisation. Although many studies have investigated problematic peer functioning in children with ADHD, this research has predominantly focused on boys and studies investigating girls are scant. Those studies that did examine girls, often used a male comparison sample, disregarding the inherent gender differences between girls and boys. Previous studies have highlighted this limitation and recommended the need for comparisons between ADHD females and typical females, in order to elucidate the picture of female ADHD with regards to problematic peer functioning. The aim of this literature review was to gain insight into peer functioning difficulties in school-aged girls with ADHD.PsychINFO, PubMed, and Web of Knowledge were searched for relevant literature comparing school-aged girls with ADHD to typically developing girls (TDs) in relation to peer functioning. The peer relationship domains were grouped into 'friendship', 'peer status', 'social skills/competence', and 'peer victimisation and bullying'. In total, thirteen studies were included in the review.All of the thirteen studies included reported that girls with ADHD, compared to TD girls, demonstrated increased difficulties in the domains of friendship, peer interaction, social skills and functioning, peer victimization and externalising behaviour. Studies consistently showed small to medium effects for lower rates of friendship participation and stability in girls with ADHD relative to TD girls. Higher levels of peer rejection with small to large effect sizes were reported in all studies, which were predicted by girls' conduct problems. Peer rejection in turn predicted poor social adjustment and a host of problem behaviours. Very high levels of peer victimisation were present in girls with ADHD with large effect sizes. Further, very high levels of social impairment and social skills deficits, with large effect sizes, were found across all studies. Levels of pro-social behaviour varied across studies, but were mostly lower in girls with ADHD, with small to large effect sizes. Overall, social disability was significantly higher among girls with ADHD than among TD girls.Congruous evidence was found for peer functioning difficulties in the peer relationship domains of friendship, peer status, social skills/competence, and peer victimisation and bullying in girls with ADHD.
Project description:Aims: To determine (1) whether having a visible eye condition and/or treatment with glasses and/or occlusion in childhood has any impact on psychological and/or social outcomes during childhood and young adulthood and (2) whether there is an effect of age at treatment. Methods: A cohort of 160 participants was asked to take part in an online study. The cohort had previously taken part in a research study at Royal Preston Hospital from 1999–2006 when they were 3–8 years old (Buckley and Perkins 2010). Participants were divided into treatment and no-defect (control) groups and were invited to take part in the current study when they had reached age 18–21. Thirty-five (35) participants (22.5% of the total cohort) were recruited and completed a series of online questionnaires assessing recalled victimisation at school, current generalised anxiety, current depressive symptoms, current loneliness, current friendship quality, and adjustment to university/work. Questionnaire scores between treated patients and controls were compared. Results: Findings showed that young adults who received treatment during their pre-school years, compared to their peers who did not need treatment, reported higher current generalised anxiety and more victimisation when in school. Those who received treatment in reception class were no different on psycho-social functioning compared to their peers; with both groups reporting higher victimisation than average compared to previous studies, and mild rates of anxiety. Conclusions: It appears that having a visible eye condition or treatment with glasses and/or occlusion commencing at pre-school has long term psychological implications, with scores on victimisation and current anxiety levels being higher for the pre-school treatment group compared to the pre-school no defect (control) group. Treatment plans and advice to parents should consider psycho-social outcomes of proposed treatment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Peer victimisation is a common occurrence and has well-established links with a range of psychiatric problems in adulthood. Significantly less is known however, about how victimisation influences positive aspects of mental health such as wellbeing. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess for the first time, whether peer victimisation in adolescence is associated with adult wellbeing. We aimed to understand whether individuals who avoid a diagnosis of depression after victimisation, maintain good wellbeing in later life, and therefore display resilience.<h4>Methods</h4>Longitudinal data was taken from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective cohort study based in the UK. Peer victimisation was assessed at 13?years using a modified version of the bullying and friendship interview schedule, and wellbeing at age 23 using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale. The presence or absence of depression was diagnosed using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised at 18?years. A series of logistic and linear regression analyses were used to explore relationships between peer victimisation, depression, and wellbeing, adjusting for potentially confounding individual and family factors.<h4>Results</h4>Just over 15% of victims of frequent bullying had a diagnosis of depression at age 18. Victimisation also had a significant impact on wellbeing, with a one-point increase in frequent victimisation associated with a 2.71-point (SE?=?0.46, p <?0.001) decrease in wellbeing scores aged 23. This finding remained after adjustment for the mediating and moderating effects of depression, suggesting that the burden of victimisation extends beyond depression to impact wellbeing. Results therefore show that individuals who remain partially resilient by avoiding a diagnosis of depression after victimisation have significantly poorer wellbeing than their non-victimised counterparts.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Overall, our study demonstrates for the first time that victimisation during adolescence is a significant risk factor for not only the onset of depression, but also poor wellbeing in adulthood. Such findings highlight the importance of investigating both dimensions of mental health to understand the true burden of victimisation and subsequent resilience. In addition to the need for interventions that reduce the likelihood of depression following adolescent victimisation, efforts should also be made to promote good wellbeing.
Project description:The aim of the current study was to investigate pathways of the Environmental Stress Hypothesis concerning the role of peer relations in the context of poor motor skills. First, we examined (1) the mediating role of peer problems in the association between motor performance in daily activities and internalizing problems as a main pathway of the Environmental Stress Hypothesis. Furthermore, we explored the role of (2) children's popularity as a mediator and (3) best friendship quality as a moderator path of the effect of motor performance on both peer problems and internalizing problems. The non-clinical sample of the present study consisted of 189 children (48.6% females) aged 9-11 years (Mage = 9.69, SDage = 0.46). Parents reported on their child's motor performance in daily activities by completing the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was used to assess peer problems as well as internalizing problems. The Self Description Questionnaire provided a measure of children's self-reported popularity. The Friendship Quality Questionnaire was used to investigate children's best friendship quality. Results of a structural equation model suggest that peer problems fully mediated the association between the motor performance in daily activities and both popularity and internalizing problems. However, no evidence for the mediating effect of popularity in the association between peer problems and internalizing problems was found. Further, best friendship quality had a non-significant moderating effect on the relation between peer problems and internalizing problems. The mediating role of peer problems highlights the importance of peer relations in the motor performance of daily activities. Schools and psychomotor interventions were suggested as practical implications to support children with poor motor performance in their relationship with their peers and to improve their motor performance in daily activities.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>During adolescence, peer relationships take precedence and there is a normative increase in social anxiety. Although prospective studies have suggested peer functioning and social anxiety can influence each other, their findings have not been examined systematically. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies to examine the bidirectional relationship between peer functioning and social anxiety in adolescence.<h4>Methods</h4>EMBASE, PsycINFO, Medline, and PubMed were searched to identify relevant articles. Meta-analysis was conducted to examine the mean effect sizes of prospective associations between social anxiety and four dimensions of peer functioning. Moderator analysis was performed, with age, gender, time interval between baseline and follow-up assessment, and publication year as moderators.<h4>Results</h4>Meta-analyses of 23 studies showed that friendship quality (r =-.11), peer rejection (r =-.06), and peer victimization (r =.23) were each associated with later social anxiety, but peer acceptance was not (r =-.11). Social anxiety at baseline was associated with prospective levels of friendship quality (r =-.11), peer rejection (r=.09), and peer victimization (r =.17), but not peer acceptance (r =-.14). Age moderated the association between friendship quality and prospective social anxiety. Other moderator effects were statistically non-significant.<h4>Limitations</h4>Limitations include different classifications of peer functioning, the use of self-report measures, heterogeneity between studies, and underrepresentation of clinical samples.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A significant bidirectional association was found with social anxiety across three dimensions of peer functioning. Psychological prevention and intervention targeting peer functioning and social anxiety are indicated.
Project description:To characterize dyadic and general friendships of youth with spina bifida (SB).Families of youth with SB recruited a peer to participate; 106 dyads participated. Youth with SB and peers completed questionnaires and interviews regarding characteristics of the dyadic friendship and each individual's general friendships.Youth with SB and their peers were similar in many ways. However, youth with SB rated the friendship as closer and were more likely to see peers as best friends rather than the reverse. Regarding general friendships, youth with SB spent fewer days with friends, reported lower levels of companionship, security, and closeness in their friendships, and reported lower levels of emotional support from peers and family.Youth with SB experience significant differences in the quality and reciprocation of friendships. Targeted interventions may assist youth in developing high quality friendships.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Early childhood social reticence (SR) and preadolescent social anxiety (SA) symptoms increase the risk for more severe SA in later adolescence. Yet, not all at-risk youth develop more severe SA. The emergence of distinct patterns of neural response to socially evocative contexts during pivotal points in development may help explain this discontinuity. We tested the extent to which brain function during social interactions in preadolescence influenced the effects of SA and early childhood SR on predicting SA symptoms in midadolescence. METHODS:Participants (N?=?53) were assessed for SR from ages 2 to 7. At age 11, SA symptoms were assessed and brain function was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as participants anticipated social evaluation from purported peers with a reputation for being unpredictable, nice, and mean. At age 13, SA symptoms were re-assessed. Moderated-mediation models tested the extent to which early childhood SR, preadolescent SA, and preadolescent brain function predicted midadolescent SA. RESULTS:In individuals with preadolescent SA, the presence of early childhood SR and SR-linked differences in brain activation predicted more severe SA in midadolescence. Specifically, in those who exhibited preadolescent SA, greater early childhood SR was associated with enhanced bilateral insula engagement while anticipating unpredictable-versus-nice social evaluation in preadolescence, and more severe SA in midadolescence. CONCLUSIONS:SR-linked neural responses to socially evocative peer interactions may predict more severe SA symptoms in midadolescence among individuals with greater preadolescent SA symptoms and childhood SR. This same pattern of neural response may not be associated with more severe SA symptoms in youth with only one risk factor.
Project description:Using a qualitative monozygotic (MZ) twin differences design we explored whether adolescent MZ twins report discordant peer relationships and, if so, whether they perceive them as causes, consequences or correlates of discordant behaviour. We gathered free-response questionnaire data from 497 families and conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 97 of them. Within this dataset n = 112 families (23% of the sample) described discordant peer relationships. Six categories of discordance were identified (peer victimisation, peer rejection, fewer friends, different friends, different attitudes to friendship and dependence on co-twin). Participants described peer relationship discordance arising as a result of chance occurrences, enhanced vulnerability in one twin or discordant behaviour. Consequences of discordant peer relationships were seen as discordance in self-confidence, future plans, social isolation, mental health and interests. In all cases the twin with worse peer experiences was seen as having a worse outcome. Specific hypotheses are presented.
Project description:Social capital (SC) affects quality of life, sport behaviours and health in individual and community context. The aim was to analyse how sports activity (SA) contributes to SC accumulation in a post-transformation country. A combination of four longitudinal, nationwide datasets was used. Instrumental variable method was applied. Results show that in 19+ Poles, on a regional level, SA improves SC. This suggest that sports clubs and at least some types of sports infrastructure can constitute a valid tool for social policies aiming at improving social involvement. The self-triggering character of SA is a valuable asset for social impact regionally and beyond. It is important to estimate the changes in a long-term perspective, due to the inertness of the SC.
Project description:Sibling bullying is associated with various psychosocial difficulties. We investigated this in 231 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and 8180 without ASD between middle childhood (age 11 years) and early adolescence (age 14 years). On the whole, self-reported sibling bullying decreased from middle childhood to early adolescence. Despite this, individuals with ASD continued to report more sibling bullying as both perpetrator and victim in early adolescence than those without ASD. We found that self-report sibling bullying in middle childhood was associated with psychosocial difficulties in early adolescence. Moreover, individuals with ASD were more likely to report being bullied by both siblings and peers in middle childhood and this pattern of victimisation was associated with concurrent and longitudinal psychosocial difficulties.