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Developmental cascades of peer rejection, social information processing biases, and aggression during middle childhood

  • Jennifer E. Lansford (a1), Patrick S. Malone (a2), Kenneth A. Dodge (a1), Gregory S. Pettit (a3) and John E. Bates (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2010

This study tested a developmental cascade model of peer rejection, social information processing (SIP), and aggression using data from 585 children assessed at 12 time points from kindergarten through Grade 3. Peer rejection had direct effects on subsequent SIP problems and aggression. SIP had direct effects on subsequent peer rejection and aggression. Aggression had direct effects on subsequent peer rejection. Each construct also had indirect effects on each of the other constructs. These findings advance the literature beyond a simple mediation approach by demonstrating how each construct effects changes in the others in a snowballing cycle over time. The progressions of SIP problems and aggression cascaded through lower liking, and both better SIP skills and lower aggression facilitated the progress of social preference. Findings are discussed in terms of the dynamic, developmental relations among social environments, cognitions, and behavioral adjustment.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer E. Lansford, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708; E-mail:
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Development and Psychopathology
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