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Meta-analyses of Contextual Correlates of Peer Victimization

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $384,928)

The purpose of this basic research project is to quantitatively synthesize the existing empirical evidence on contextual correlates of peer victimization to achieve four goals. First, this research provides the best available estimates of the existence, direction, and magnitudes of associations between victimization and various peer, family, and school contextual variables. Second, this research identifies conditions (i.e., moderators) under which these associations are stronger and weaker. Third, this research estimates the longitudinal stability of peer victimization and moderators of this stability. Fourth, this research clarifies the temporal relations (i.e., antecedent and/or consequence relations) of these associations. These aims are achieved through a coordinated series of univariate (single correlate) and multivariate (multiple correlates) meta-analyses of the existing concurrent and longitudinal studies of peer victimization. The concurrent meta-analyses contain a large number of studies to allow (a) precise estimation of the bivariate and multivariate associations between victimization and contextual variables, (b) identification of features of study samples and methodology that systematically results in stronger or weaker associations, and (c) evaluation of multivariate models of the unique correlates. The longitudinal meta-analyses are useful in identifying the temporal relations and timing of effects between victimization and contextual variables. The proposed research provides definitive summaries of the existing literature on contextual correlates of peer victimization. Publication of these meta-analyses in high impact journals as well as more accessible outlets will impact the field in several ways. First, they provide more precise and generalizable information than is otherwise possible. Second, they clarify inconsistent conclusions of prior narrative reviews. Third, they provide quantified effect sizes rather than focusing on mere presence versus absence of associations. Fourth, these summaries identify gaps in the existing research base, and therefore point to where more research is needed and where further research provides minimal added value. Finally, this research will intervention and policy, which currently emphasize contextual factors but are not directly informed by the magnitudes and conditions in which these factors operate.ca/ncf

Date Created: September 8, 2013