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Behavioral and psychological consequences of social identity-based aggressive victimization in high school youth

NCJ Number
J. W. Utley; et al
Date Published

Since research suggests many youth report being victimized in school due to their social identities (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation), we compared the consequences of social identity-based victimization (SIBV) to general victimization wherein adolescents are victimized by peers for other reasons (e.g., competition, a perceived insult).


An online survey administered to 471 high school students yielded 777 victimization reports. 71.2% of the students reported at least one recent victimization, with 53.8% reporting SIBV. Race-based victimization was the most prevalent, and SIBV was more common online than offline. Psychological reactions (i.e., negative affect, self-esteem, and perceived costs) and behavioral responses (i.e., avoidant, antisocial, prosocial, and self-harm behavior), were heightened for youth reporting SIBV. As anticipated, psychological reactions significantly mediated the effect of SIBV on behavioral responses. (Publisher abstract provided)