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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01036

Peer victimization and aggressive behavior among Chinese adolescents: Delinquent peer affiliation as a mediator and parental knowledge as a moderator

  • 1School of Education, Guangzhou University, China
  • 2School of psychology, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, China

Grounded in social network theory and a risk-buffering model, this study examined whether delinquent peer affiliation mediated the association between peer victimization and adolescent aggressive behavior and whether this mediating process was moderated by parental knowledge. A total of 4,209 Chinese adolescents (48.47% male, Mage = 13.68) completed questionnaires on peer victimization, parental knowledge, delinquent peer affiliation, and adolescent aggressive behavior. Path analyses showed that delinquent peer affiliation partially mediated the relationship between peer victimization and aggressive behavior. Moreover, parental knowledge had a protective effect of buffering the adverse influence of peer victimization on aggressive behavior. This indirect link was stronger for adolescents with low parental knowledge than for those with high parental knowledge. This finding highlights delinquent peer affiliation as a potential link between peer victimization and aggressive behavior and provides an effective intervention for addressing the adverse effects of peer victimization.

Keywords: Peer victimization, aggressive behavior, delinquent peer affiliation, Parental knowledge, Adolescent Development

Received: 06 Feb 2018; Accepted: 01 Jun 2018.

Edited by:

Yvette R. Harris, Miami University, United States

Reviewed by:

Claudio Longobardi, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
Martina Smorti, Università degli Studi di Pisa, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Lin, Yu, Tian and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Chengfu Yu, Guangzhou University, School of Education, Guangzhou, China, cnwhycf@163.com