Parenting Behaviors and Parent–Child Relationships: Correlates of Peer Victimization in Kindergarten?

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Abstract

This study examined features of parenting behavior and the parent–child relationship as correlates of peer victimization in young children. A sample of 197 kindergartners (94 girls and 103 boys) and their primary caregivers were videotaped in their homes while engaging in multiple interactional tasks, and peer victimization data were gathered on children as they began kindergarten. The video-recorded interaction data were used to create measures of parenting behavior (e.g., intrusive demandingness, responsiveness) and relationship quality (i.e., intense closeness), which were examined as predictors of peer victimization. High intrusive demandingness and low responsiveness were associated with peer victimization in both boys and girls, and parent–child relationships characterized by intense closeness were associated with higher levels of peer victimization in boys. Results are discussed in terms of the role that caregiver socialization plays in the development of child behaviors that may increase children's risk for peer victimization.

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