Age-Related Differences in the Structure of Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Types of Peer Victimization Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The goal of the present investigation was to clarify and compare the structure of genetic and environmental influences on different types (e.g., physical, verbal) of peer victimization experienced by youth in pre-/early adolescence and mid-/late adolescence. Physical, verbal, social, and property-related peer victimization experiences were assessed in two twin samples (306 pairs, ages 9-14 and 294 pairs, ages 15-20). Cholesky decompositions of individual differences in victimization were conducted, and independent pathway (IP) and common pathway (CP) twin models were tested in each sample. In the younger sample, a Cholesky decomposition best described the structure of genetic and environmental contributors to peer victimization, with no evidence that common additive genetic or environmental factors influence different types of peer victimization. In the older sample, common environmental factors influenced peer victimization types via a general latent liability for peer victimization (i.e., a CP model). Whereas the pre-/early adolescent sample demonstrated no evidence of a shared genetic and environmental structure for different types of peer victimization, the mid-/late adolescent sample demonstrates the emergence of an environmentally-driven latent liability for peer victimization across peer victimization types.

author list (cited authors)

  • Eastman, M. L., Verhulst, B., Rappaport, L. M., Dirks, M., Sawyers, C., Pine, D. S., ... Roberson-Nay, R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM