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Harsh parenting, insufficient income and infant aggression predict preschool peer victimisation

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What are the trajectories of peer victimisation in preschool and what are the predictors of these trajectories?


1970 children (49% female) born in Quebec between October 1997 and July 1998, who were taking part in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, selected by stratified sampling from the Quebec Birth Registry. Participants were assessed at average ages of 4.5 and 16.6 months, and 2.4, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 6.2 and 7.2 years. Children with data from at least one maternally rated peer victimisation assessment between the ages of 3.4 and 6.2 years were included.


Quebec, Canada; 1997–2005.

Prognostic factors:

Family level factors were assessed at age 5 months, including family adversity (single parent family, low parental education and age at birth of first child, and insufficient income) and harsh reactive parenting (assessed using three self-rated items from the Parental Cognitions and Conduct Toward the Infant Scale). Child level factors assessed at age 17 months included: maternally rated physical aggression (three items), hyperactivity (seven items) and internalising symptoms (seven items). All items were rated on a 3 point scale from 0 (never) …

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  • Source of funding: Institut de la Statistique du Quebec, Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, Quebec Ministry of Families and Seniors, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Quebec Fund for Research on Society and Culture, Quebec Health Research Fund, Canada Research Chair Program and UK Medical Research Council.


  • Competing interests: None.