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A latent class analysis of parent–child discrepancies in reports of peer victimization: Associations to child sexual abuse status and psychological adjustment
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 January 2021
Researchers face an important challenge when assessing peer victimization in children, since self-reports are often discrepant with parent-reports. A latent class analysis identified patterns of response to items assessing peer victimization, which were either divergent or convergent between the parent and the child. Classes were then compared on the child sexual abuse status and on various behavioral and social outcomes. Participants were 720 school-aged child victims of sexual abuse and a comparison group of 173 nonvictims and their caregivers. We identified two discordant subgroups (self-identified and parent-identified) and two concordant groups (nonvictims and concordant victims of peer victimization). Compared to children of the comparison group, sexually abused children were five times more likely to be identified as targets of peer victimization solely by their parent than the contrary. Sexually abused children with concordant reports of peer victimization showed the poorest adjustment on all studied outcomes assessed 6 months later. Children who discounted experiencing peer victimization while their parent reported it were also at risk of maladjustment. Results underscore the importance of supplementing self-reports with other available sources of information, especially in young and vulnerable populations who may be inclined to discount their victimization experiences.
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- © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press