A Friend in Need: The Role of Friendship Quality as a Protective Factor in Peer Victimization and Bullying


This study examined friendship quality as a possible moderator of risk factors in predicting peer victimization and bullying. Children (50 boys and 49 girls, ages 10 to 13 years) reported on the quality of their best friendship, as well as their bullying and victimization tendencies. Parents reported on their child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors, in addition to bullying and victimization tendencies. Results indicated that externalizing problems were related to bullying behavior; however, friendship quality moderated this relation such that among children with externalizing behaviors, a high-quality friendship significantly attenuated bullying behavior. Internalizing problems and low friendship quality were significantly related to victimization; however, friendship quality did not moderate the relation between internalizing problems and victimization. Implications for interventions based on these findings are discussed.

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