Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: The Influence of Parental Verbal Abuse on Peer Related Victimization

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Prior research on the effects of childhood maltreatment has focused primarily on the relationship between physical abuse and its impact on delinquent behavior. Although researchers have recently begun to recognize the importance of and to explore the detrimental effects which psychological maltreatment has on children, little empirical attention has been paid to the possibility that maltreatment may also increase the likelihood of future victimization among children. Drawing on the tenets of differential oppression theory, this study examines whether students who are victims of emotional and/or verbal abuse by their parents are more likely to adapt through the use of passive acceptance, as evidenced by low self-esteem, and subsequently become targets for further victimization at the hands of their peers. Findings indicate that parental emotional and verbal abuse is a significant predictor of peer-related victimization.

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