School and Gender Influences on the Social and Academic Adjustment of Aggressive Victims


Tara McKay

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A number of studies have investigated the outcomes of children chronically victimized by peers. This study explores the school environment and gender influences on the academic and social adjustment of victims and aggressors. Participants were students from an urban public (n=309) and a suburban private (n=89) elementary school. Using standardized peer- and teacher-ratings of victimization and aggression, participants were grouped into one of four categories: aggressive victims, nonaggressive victims, aggressive nonvictims, normative contrasts low on both aggression and victimization. These categories were then analyzed for differences in academic performanceand peer rejection using a 2 x 2 x 4 multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Academically, aggressive victims performed significantly poorer than normative contrasts. Aggressive victims were the most rejected by peers for males regardless of school type andfor females attending public school. For femalesattending private school, however, all three non-normative groups were rejected significantly more than the normative group.These results draw attention to the severe maladjustment of the aggressive victim regardless of school type and to gender differences in patterns of peer rejection. Implications for the development and application of intervention programs are discussed.


A. Gorman




Support provided by:Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship

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