Child Development, May/June 2014, Volume 85, Number 3, Pages 1248–1256
Children’s Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems: The Inﬂuence of Peers and Teachers Jantine L. Spilt and Pol A. C. van Lier VU University
Geertje Leﬂot, Patrick Onghena, and Hilde Colpin KU Leuven, Belgium
This study aimed to understand how relationships with peers and teachers contribute to the development of internalizing problems via children’s social self-concept. The sample included 570 children aged 7 years 5 months (SD = 4.6 months). Peer nominations of peer rejection, child-reported social self-concept, and teacher-reported internalizing problems were assessed longitudinally in the fall and spring of Grades 2 and 3. Teacher reports of support to the child were assessed in Grade 2. Results showed that peer rejection impeded children’s social self-concept, which in turn affected the development of internalizing problems. Partial support was found for individual (but not classroom-level) teacher support to buffer the adverse effects of peer problems on children’s self-concept, thereby mitigating its indirect effects on internalizing problems.
The social-ecological perspective on development emphasizes the importance of social relationships as risk or protective inﬂuences on children’s development (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006; Sameroff, 2000). From this perspective, much attention has been given to peer relationships in predicting externalizing problems and, to a lesser extent, internalizing problems (Deater-Deckard, 2001; Ladd, 2006; Parker, Rubin, Erath, Wojslawowicz, & Buskirk, 2006). Despite this attention, at least two questions remain largely unanswered. The ﬁrst concerns the processes by which peer rejection may lead to the development of internalizing problems. A second question pertains to the possible presence of a protective factor within the same classroom setting, namely, the teacher. This study aims to address these gaps by studying the developmental links between peer rejection, social self-concept, and internalizing problem development, and whether support from teachers may provide a context in which pathways from peer rejection to internalizing problems via social self-concept may be prevented.
This study was funded by a grant from the Research Foundation—Flanders (G.0380.06). Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jantine Spilt, Department of Developmental Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic mail may be sent to j.l. [email protected]
or [email protected]
School-age children who experience difﬁculties in their relationships with peers, and in particular rejected children, are at increased risk for psychopathology (Parker et al., 2006) including internalizing problems (for a review, see Hay, Payne, & Chadwick, 2004). Longitudinal research demonstrates that peer rejection uniquely predicts the developmental course of internalizing problems and depression in grade school (Ladd, 2006; Ladd & Troop-Gordon, 2003; van Lier & Koot, 2010) above and beyond children’s behavior characteristics (Ladd, 2006). Furthermore, there is evidence that children’s social self-concept acts as a mechanism through which peer rejection inﬂuences the development of internalizing problems. Social Self-Concept and the Link Between Peer Rejection and Internalizing Behavior Being poorly appreciated by peers in day-to-day situations exempliﬁes a stressful experience. According to the competency-based model, adverse social experiences, such as peer rejection, may cause maladaptive self-perceptions of one’s ability to function in the social domain (Cole, 1990; Jacobs, Reinecke, Gollan, & Kane, 2008). Peer rejection is thus believed to inﬂuence children’s © 2013 The Authors Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved. 0009-3920/2014/8503-0030 DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12181
Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems
cognitive self-perceptions of their functioning in the social domain, referred to as social self-concept (Harter & Pike, 1984). Poor self-concepts, in turn, are considered as a cognitive vulnerability factor leading to the development of internalizing problems (Cole, 1990; Jacobs et al., 2008). A negative social self-concept is thus thought to link peer rejection to the development of internalizing problems. Empirical support for such a developmental pathway is growing. In a cross-sectional study of 9- to 13-year-old children, Zimmer–Gembeck, Hunter, and Pronk (2007) reported an indirect association between peer-reported dislike and selfreported depression via perceived social acceptance. Ladd and Troop-Gordon (2003) found that exposure to rejection in ﬁrst and third grades undermined children’s feelings of being acceptable to peers and themselves (i.e., social self-concept) in fourth grade. Moreover, low social self-concept was associated with concurrent elevation in teacher-reported internalizing problems and childreported loneliness. In a follow-up study with the same sample, focusing on peer-reported victimization and not rejection, Troop-Gordon and Ladd (2005) found that changes in social self-concept (i.e., social self-acceptance and global self-esteem) were associated with changes in peer victimization from Grades 4 to 6. Moreover, growth in peer victimization was indirectly associated with growth in internalizing problems via declines in social selfconcept. There is thus evidence that social self-concept may, at least partly, account for the prospective effects of peer rejection in the course of internalizing problems. However, as described, the previous studies were either cross-sectional or contained longitudinal parts at best. To our knowledge, none of the previous studies examined each of the study variables in parallel across multiple waves. To examine developmental processes, autoregressive cross-lagged models (J€ oreskog, 1970) have been advocated as optimal, yet conservative tests (Masten & Cicchetti, 2010), because cross-time effects between constructs are modeled while controlling for the stability of the constructs over time as well as contemporaneous correlations between constructs. The ﬁrst goal of this study is therefore to examine whether peer rejection predicts internalizing problems through its effect on children’s social self-concept. A fully balanced design is used in which all constructs were assessed in parallel, which allows the temporal sequencing of the variables.
Studying Peer Rejection in Context: Teacher Support as a Protective Resource Children’s social classroom experiences are not limited to classmates, but involve teachers as well. Teacher–student relationships have been found predictive of a wide range of developmental outcomes including internalizing problems and self-perceptions (O’Connor, Dearing &, Collins, 2011; Reddy, Rhodes, & Mulhall, 2003). Moreover, peer– and teacher–student relationships seem to represent qualitatively different sources of social support and stress (Ryan, Stiller, & Lynch, 1994; Verschueren, Doumen, & Buyse, 2012). Both may therefore have a unique impact on children’s social self-concept. There is preliminary evidence from two small-scale studies that a supportive teacher–student relationship can compensate for the negative effects of peer rejection on children’s self-concept. Using a daily diary procedure, Little and Kobak (2003) demonstrated over the course of a school year that when children aged 9–13 felt emotionally secure with teachers, their self-esteem was less affected by conﬂictual events with peers. While Little and Kobak studied self-esteem, a construct related to global self-concept or self-worth, Verschueren et al. (2012) found effects speciﬁcally for social self-concept. They reported that the concurrent association between peer acceptance and social self-concept in ﬁrst grade appeared weaker under conditions of high teacher–student relationship quality. There is thus preliminary evidence for the protective role of teachers for the self-concept of children poorly accepted by peers. To extend this line of research, we examined whether teacher support could prevent internalizing problems speciﬁcally by buffering children’s social self-concept against experiences of peer rejection. Although the research reviewed above suggests that children’s social self-concept will be inﬂuenced particularly by individual support from teachers, we will also test the possibility that classroom-level support impacts social selfconcept. Present Study We sought to enhance understanding of how social relationships at school interact with children’s development to prevent or contribute to internalizing problems. In this prospective fourwave study all variables were assessed in parallel across Grades 2 and 3. Two hypotheses were tested. First, we expected the developmental link between rejection by mainstream peers and
Spilt, van Lier, Leﬂot, Onghena, and Colpin
internalizing behavior to be indirect. Speciﬁcally, we hypothesized that peer rejection predicts declines in social self-concept, which subsequently adds to the development of internalizing problems. To check whether these paths applied equally to boys and girls, sex differences were examined. Second, we hypothesized that teacher support would moderate (i.e., weaken) the effect of peer rejection on children’s social self-concept. This, in turn, was expected to diminish the indirect effect of peer rejection on internalizing problems (i.e., moderated mediation).
Method Participants The sample included 570 children (49.5% boys) and 30 teachers from 15 regular primary schools located in the Flemish region of Belgium. Written consent was obtained from parents (participation rate 97%). At Wave 1, children age was on average 7 years 5 months (SD = 4.6 months). The majority of children (> 95%) were of Caucasian origin. As is common in the Flemish education system, the teacher but not the classroom composition changed between ﬁrst and second grades. Over the 2-year study period, 41 children dropped out as a result of grade retention or changing schools. These children had higher levels of peer rejection, t(567) = 4.70, p < .001; oppositional behavior, t(568) = 5.34, p < .001; conduct problems t(568) = 5.92, p < .001; and depression, t(568) = 4.67, p < .001. There were no signiﬁcant differences with respect to anxiety (p = .14) and social self-concept (p = .34). Children participated in a randomized-controlled trial (Leﬂot, van Lier, Onghena, & Colpin, 2010) where half of the children were randomly assigned to a preventive classroom management program, the Good Behavior Game (Dolan, Jaylan, Werthamer, & Kellam, 1989). This program could have caused decreases in peer rejection and internalizing problems (Vuijk, van Lier, Crijnen, & Huizink, 2007). Therefore, we examined whether the hypothesized indirect paths from peer rejection to internalizing problems via social self-concept applied equally to intervention children and control children. Measures Data were collected in fall and spring of second grade (Waves 1 and 2), and in fall and spring of third grade (Waves 3 and 4).
Peer Rejection Peer rejection was assessed by asking children to nominate all classmates who they “liked least” (Cillessen & Bukowski, 2000; Coie, Dodge, & Coppotelli, 1982). The total number of nominations was divided by the number of participating children in the class minus 1 (children were not allowed to nominate themselves). Social Self-Concept Social self-concept was assessed using the Dutch version of the Self-Perception Proﬁle for Children (SPPC; Harter, 1985; Dutch translation by Veerman, Straathof, Treffers, Van den Bergh, & ten Brink, 1997), adapted for children from age 7 onward (Leﬂot, Onghena, & Colpin, 2010). Evidence for construct validity and adequate reliability was found (Leﬂot, Onghena, et al., 2010). The subscale social acceptance was rated on a 3-point Likert scale (“Most children like me,” “Find it easy to make friends”; 6 items; as = .62–.76). Higher scores refer to self-evaluations of being socially accepted and competent. Internalizing Problems Internalizing problems were assessed using the Problem Behavior at School Interview (PBSI; Erasmus Medical Center, 2000). Teachers-rated pupils’ behaviors on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (never applicable) to 4 (often applicable). Mean scores of the scales anxiety (“Anxious,” “Easily Worried”; 5 items; as = .73–.80) and depression (“Unhappy or Depressed”; 7 items; as = .77–.83) were averaged as a measure of internalizing problems (rs between the subscales = .67–.81). The PBSI has demonstrated adequate validity (e.g., Witvliet, van Lier, Cuijpers, & Koot, 2009). Teacher Support Teachers rated their support for each individual child in their classroom on two occasions (fall and spring) in second grade, using the teacher version of the Teacher as Social Context (TASC) questionnaire (Wellborn, Connell, Skinner, & Pierson, 1992). The measure includes three subscales: involvement (“I enjoy spending time with this student”; 14 items), structure (“I ﬁnd it hard to be consistent with this student”—reverse coded; 15 items), and autonomy support (“I try to give this student a lot of choices about classroom assignments”; 12 items). Items are assessed on a 4-point scale, ranging from
Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems
0 (not at all true) to 3 (very true). The validity of the scale has been supported in previous research (Skinner & Belmont, 1993). Because of high correlations among the subscales (rs involvement structure = .70–.72, rs involvement structure = .47–.51, and rs structure autonomy = .69–.72), items were added up to a total scale (as = .94), with higher scores indicating higher levels of teacher support. Scores over Waves 1 and 2 were highly correlated (r = .74, p < .01) and therefore averaged across waves. Statistical Analyses Autoregressive cross-lagged models were analyzed using the Mplus program (Muthen & Muthen, 1998–2011) using full-information maximum likelihood (FIML) estimation to retain the full sample. To test pathways from peer rejection via social self-concept to internalizing problems, a series of four nested models were tested. We started with a baseline model in which only autoregressive associations within constructs were allowed (autoregressive model). In the second model, cross-time links from the predictors (peer rejection, social selfconcept) to the outcome (internalizing problems) were added (direct inﬂuence model). The third model allowed for cross-time paths between the predictors to test the possibility of indirect paths to internalizing problems (i.e., indirect inﬂuence model). The ﬁnal model tested was a full transactional model allowing cross-time paths between all constructs (transactional model). Model ﬁt was considered satisfactory with conﬁrmatory ﬁt index (CFI) ≥ .95, standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) ≤ .08, and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) ≤ .06 (Hu & Bentler, 1999). The Satorra–Bentler-scaled v2 difference test for nested models (two-tailed) was used to compare relative ﬁt of nested models (Satorra & Bentler, 2001). To test for an indirect pathway from peer rejection to internalizing problems via social self-concept, the signiﬁcance of the indirect pathway was estimated (MacKinnon, Lockwood, & Williams, 2004). Estimations of intraclass correlations suggested negligible levels of between-classroom variance for peer rejection (ICC = .02–.05) and social self-concept (ICC = .02–.03). However, signiﬁcant between-classroom variance was found for internalizing problems (ICC = .31–.34). To avoid possible inﬂuences of multilevel bias due to subjects being nested within classrooms, a sandwich estimator was used to adjust standard errors of estimated paths for
clustering of data at the classroom level (Williams, 2000). To account for non-normality of data, an MLR estimator was used. Furthermore, the role of teacher support was studied. The intraclass correlation of teacher support (ICC = .40) suggests robust classroom-level variance. As a result, the hypothesized moderating effect of teacher support on the impact of peer rejection on social self-concept may stem from either a classroom- (teacher having a positive relationship with the class as a whole) or individuallevel component (children varying on their positive relationship with teacher). We therefore used a multilevel model and tested for moderation by teacher support at the classroom and individual level. To test for moderation of classroom-level teacher support, a between-levels (classroom to individual level) interaction was tested for using a random slope parameter. Finally, we tested whether the strength of the indirect effect of peer rejection on internalizing problems via social self-concept would be conditional on teacher support (i.e., moderated mediation; Preacher, Rucker, & Hayes, 2007).
Results Developmental Links Between Peer Rejection, Social Self-Concept, and Internalizing Problems Table 1 presents descriptive statistics. All correlations were in the expected direction. We tested a series of four nested models (Table 2). The transactional model ﬁt the data best. The ﬁt of this model was satisfactory (CFI = .95, SRMR = .04, RMSEA = .08). We then tested whether the paths of interest in this study (peer rejection to social self-concept, and social self-concept to internalizing problems) in this transactional model were similar across sex, intervention status, and time. Using multigroup analyses, a model in which parameters were freely estimated across sex, intervention status, or time was compared to a model with parameters constrained to be equal. Results showed that the paths from peer rejection to social self-concept, and from social self-concept to internalizing problems were similar across sex, Dv2(4) = 7.73, p = .10; intervention condition, Dv2(4) = 4.68, p = .32; and time, Dv2(2) = 0.65, p = .72. The time-constrained transactional model is presented in Figure 1. Consistent with our hypothesis, peer rejection at Wave 1 and Wave 2 predicted declines in social self-concept at Wave 2 and Wave 3, respectively. Social self-concept at Wave 2 and Wave 3 was negatively linked to internalizing problems at Wave 3 and Wave 4, respectively. Both indirect
Spilt, van Lier, Leﬂot, Onghena, and Colpin
Table 1 Means, Standard Deviations, and Bivariate Correlations Between Study Variables
1. Rejection_W1 2. Rejection _W2 3. Rejection _W3 4. Rejection _W4 5. Social SC_W1 6. Social SC _W2 7. Social SC _W3 8. Social SC _W4 9. Internalizing_W1 10. Internalizing _W2 11. Internalizing _W3 12. Internalizing _W4 13. T Support_W12
0.18 0.22 0.22 0.23 2.32 2.36 2.37 2.38 1.67 1.71 1.80 1.77 3.18
.16 .19 .19 .19 .43 .45 .43 .46 .57 .57 .61 .56 .40
.74 .66 .59 .14 .15 .22 .17 .08 .04 .09 .04 .26
.77 .73 .16 .21 .24 .21 .09 .11 .14 .11 .27
.77 .09 .16 .20 .16 .06 .07 .09 .06 .22
.11 .17 .22 .23 .06 .06 .12 .06 .26
.46 .42 .37 .05 .05 .12 .10 .07
.55 .43 .00 .01 .11 .14 .07
.62 .01 .06 .03 .09 .10
.04 .03 .11 .14 .08
.63 .18 .21 .37
.21 .19 .36
Note. SC = Self-Concept; T = Teacher; W = Wave; Bold entries present signiﬁcant correlations (p < .05).
Table 2 Model Comparisons Model improvement
Model ﬁt v2
Autoregressive Direct inﬂuence Indirect inﬂuence Transactional
172.05 156.27 130.60 115.14
45 39 33 27
– 15.78* 25.94* 13.36*
– 6 6 6
Note. SB = Satorra–Bentler. *p < .05.
pathways from peer rejection to internalizing problems via social self-concept were signiﬁcant (B = .031, SE = .015, p < .05). As a ﬁnal check, the model was reestimated in a subsample of children with complete data (n = 518). All signiﬁcant direct and indirect paths remained the same (indirect paths: B = .033, SE = .016, p < .05). The Moderating Role of Teacher Support Next, we tested whether teacher support moderated the effect of peer rejection on social self-concept. Teacher support was measured at the individual (student) level. It is, however, possible that the measure reﬂects mainly a teacher or classroom characteristic considering the relatively high intraclass correlation of .40. Therefore, a multilevel model (children’s individual level and classroom level) was ﬁtted. At the individual level, the developmental links between peer rejection and social self-concept were modeled as follows: social
self-concept at Waves 2 and 3 were regressed on social self-concept at Wave 1 and Wave 2, respectively, and on peer rejection at Wave 1 and Wave 2, respectively. The effects of peer rejection on social self-concept did not vary across classroom-level variance in teacher support, as indicated by nonsigniﬁcant random slope parameters (B = .000, SE = .003, p = .99; B = .001, SE = .002, p = .56). We continued testing the moderating effect of individual-level teacher support. Teacher support and the interaction term Teacher Support 9 Peer Rejection were added to the ﬁnal model to predict social selfconcept. Teacher support moderated the effect of Wave 2 peer rejection on Wave 3 social self-concept (b = .067, SE = .031, p < .05), but not the effect of Wave 1 peer rejection on Wave 2 social self-concept (b = .001, SE = .034, p = .98). In Figure 2, we presented simple slopes for children receiving below-average and above-average teacher support to probe the interaction effect. In addition, we examined the region of signiﬁcance to assess the values of the moderator variable at which the regression lines become signiﬁcantly different (Preacher, Curran, & Bauer, 2006). The effect of peer rejection on social self-concept was no longer signiﬁcant when levels of teacher support were more than .58 SD above the mean. Finally, we examined whether teacher support would moderate the indirect effect of peer rejection on internalizing problems by moderating the link between peer rejection and social self-concept (moderated mediation). We tested the strength of the indirect effect at different levels of teacher support (Table 3). The indirect effect was found to gradually
Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems Grade 2 Peer RejecƟon1
Social SelfConcept 1
Grade 3 Peer RejecƟon2
Social SelfConcept 2
Social SelfConcept 3
-.12 Social SelfConcept 4
.12 Internalizing Problems 2
. 13 Internalizing Problems 1
Internalizing Problems 3
Internalizing Problems 4
Figure 1. Decreases in social self-concept explain the developmental effects of peer rejection on internalizing problems. Standardized coefﬁcients signiﬁcant at p < .05 are depicted, except †p < .07. Single-headed arrows represent autoregressive paths (thin), cross-time paths (medium), and indirect paths (thick). Double-headed arrows represent cross-sectional associations.
Social Self-Concept at the Beginning of Grade 3 (Wave3)
3 Below Average Support (B = -.15, CI = -.21 to -.10)
Above Average Support (B = -.04, CI = -.09 to .01) 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 2 -2
Peer RejecƟon at the End of Grade 2 (Wave 2, Standardized)
Figure 2. Individual teacher support moderates the developmental link between peer rejection and social self-concept. Teacher support is the mean level of support to individual children across Grade 2 (Wave 1 and Wave 2 aggregated): The interaction effect given for above-average and below-average levels of teacher support are for illustrative purposes only. A continuous teacher support score was used in the analyses. Slope estimates and bias-corrected bootstrapped conﬁdence intervals (CI) are reported. Teacher support did not moderate the effect of peer rejection at the beginning of Grade 2 (Wave 1) and on social self-concept at the end of Grade 2 (Wave 2).
Spilt, van Lier, Leﬂot, Onghena, and Colpin
Table 3 The Indirect Effect of Peer Rejection on Internalizing Problems via Social Self-Concept at Different Levels of Teacher Support Indirect effect Level of teacher support +2 SD +1 SD 0 SD 1 SD 2 SD
Est. .002 .013 .028 .042 .057
.013 .010 .014 .022 .031
.90 .19 .054 .056 .064
weaken and eventually become nonsigniﬁcant under higher conditions of teacher support.
Discussion This study aimed to increase understanding of how support or rejection from peers and teachers contribute to changes in social self-concept and internalizing problems over time. We found that the developmental pathway from peer rejection to internalizing problems ran through impeded social self-concept. Partial support was found for the hypothesis that individual support from teachers can compensate for the negative effects of peer rejection. This is the ﬁrst full autoregressive cross-lagged study that provides support for the hypothesized developmental links between peer rejection and internalizing problems via social self-concept (Ladd & Troop-Gordon, 2003; Troop-Gordon & Ladd, 2005; Zimmer–Gembeck et al., 2007). As predicted by a competency-based model of depression (Cole, 1990; Jacobs et al., 2008), self-evaluations of being acceptable to peers were found to decline among socially rejected children. Moreover, impeded social self-concept appeared to be a mechanism by which peer rejection led to internalizing problems. It could well be that disliked children received more negative treatment from peers (e.g., social exclusion, victimization; Buhs, 2005). Over time, children may have integrated negative feedback from peers into their sense of self, speciﬁcally, their social selves. This in turn, could explain increases in symptoms of anxiety and depression as observed by teachers. Few studies to date have examined combined effects of peer–child relationship and teacher–child relationship inﬂuences. This is surprising as both peers and the teacher are part of the social ecology of the classroom. We found signiﬁcant but inconsistent evidence for a protective role of individual
teacher support (but not classroom-level support). Medium-high to high levels of teacher support protected children’s social self-concept against the adverse effects of peer rejection, but only against peer rejection at the end of second grade. This in turn prevented the development of internalizing problems in third grade. This ﬁnding substantiates previous research showing that teacher support can, at least to some extent, buffer the effects of peer problems on children’s self-concept (Little & Kobak, 2003; Verschueren et al., 2012). Furthermore, the ﬁnding is consistent with research demonstrating that supportive teacher–student relationships can affect adjustment in subsequent grades (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). The effect of individual teacher support, however, was found inconsistently. At the beginning of second grade there was already a negative effect of peer rejection on subsequent change in social selfconcept, but this effect was not buffered by teacher support. This could have resulted from classroom composition remaining stable across grades while the teacher changes. It may suggest that support from teachers needs to be consistent and steady across a school year to be inﬂuential enough to compensate for the pervasive effects of peer rejection. It also implies that teachers were not able to alleviate the full burden of peer rejection. The developmental linkages between peer rejection, social self-concept, and internalizing problems were not consistent over time. Peer rejection predicted social self-concept at Waves 2 and 3 but not at Wave 4. Social self-concept predicted internalizing problems at Waves 3 and 4 but not at Wave 2. In addition, a transactional association was found between social self-concept and internalizing problems from Waves 3–4. One explanation of these ﬁndings is that the link between maladaptive selfcognitions and internalizing outcomes becomes stronger with age as children’s cognitive abilities mature (Nolen-Hoeksema, Girgus, & Seligman, 1992). Because the construction of self-guided evaluations of personal competencies is a developmental task of middle childhood, negative self-perceptions may lead to depression symptoms earlier in childhood, but transactional relations may emerge later in development when self-perceptions become less inﬂuenced by negative life experiences (Jacobs et al., 2008). Limitations of this study were the relatively low reliability of social self-concept at Wave 1, the “advantaged” population (high education level of parents), and the inability to draw causal conclusions. Furthermore, this study focused on peer
Social Self-Concept and Internalizing Problems
rejection. The results may not generalize to other forms of peer problems like victimization or lack of close friendships. Third, the results are limited to middle childhood. Given changes in the stability of social self-concept as well as changes in the relative importance of peer groups across different developmental periods, research covering different age ranges is warranted. Finally, alternative paths from peer rejection to internalizing problems via increases in loneliness (Fontaine et al., 2009) or via negative beliefs about peers (Ladd & TroopGordon, 2003) should be examined. In conclusion, this longitudinal study adds new evidence that rejected children are at risk of internalizing problems because peer rejection impedes children’s social self-concept. Partial support was found for a potentially protective role of individual support from teachers. References Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 43. Theoretical models of human development. (pp. 793–828). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Buhs, E. S. (2005). Peer rejection, negative peer treatment, and school adjustment: Self-concept and classroom engagement as mediating processes. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 407–424. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2005.09.001 Cillessen, A. H. N., & Bukowski, W. M. (2000). Recent advances in the measurement of acceptance and rejection in the peer system. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., & Coppotelli, H. (1982). Dimensions and types of social status: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 557–570. doi:10.1037/ 0012-16126.96.36.1997 Cole, D. A. (1990). Relation of social and academic competence to depressive symptoms in childhood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 422–429. doi:10.1037/ 0021-843x.99.4.422 Deater-Deckard, K. (2001). Annotation: Recent research examining the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 565–579. doi:10.1017/S002196300100 7272 Dolan, L. J., Jaylan, T., Werthamer, L., & Kellam, S. G. (1989). The good behavior game manual. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Prevention Research Center. Erasmus Medical Center. (2000). Problem Behavior at School Interview. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Erasmus University. Fontaine, R. G., Yang, C., Burks, V. S., Dodge, K. A., Price, J. M., Pettit, G. S., … Bates, J. E. (2009). Loneliness as a partial mediator of the relation between low social preference in childhood and anxious/depressed symptoms in adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 479–491. doi:10.1017/S0954579409000261
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