U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Patterns of Dating and Peer Aggression and Victimization Among Early Adolescents: Relations With Individual, Peer, and School Factors

NCJ Number
Psychology of Violence Volume: 12 Issue: 3 Dated: 2022 Pages: 137–148
Date Published
12 pages

This study examined patterns of dating, peer aggression, and victimization among early adolescents.


This study identified patterns of dating and peer aggression and victimization in a predominantly African American sample of urban middle school students in dating relationships and examined associations between emerging patterns and promotive and risk factors impacting peer and school networks. Support was found for three subgroups of youth characterized by: (a) cross-context aggression and dating victimization (11%), (b) peer aggression and victimization (34%), and (c) limited involvement (55%). The subgroups differed on individual beliefs about aggression, achievement motivation, friends’ behavior and support for nonviolent and aggressive responses, and perceptions of positive peer interactions and teacher support at school. The findings have implications for prevention and selective intervention approaches based on emerging patterns of dating and peer aggression and victimization, and for future research to examine the stability of and outcomes predicted by subgroup membership over time. Participants were 1,738 early adolescents (51% female; Mage = 13.2, SD = 1.1). Most identified African American as at least one of their racial identities (91%). The sample included 571 (33%) sixth grade students, 584 (34%) seventh grade students, and 583 (34%) eighth grade students. A latent class analysis (LCA) identified subgroups of adolescents based on experiences with dating and peer aggression and victimization. Associations between the subgroups and individual, peer, and school environment factors were also examined. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022