Vicarious Peer Victimization and Adolescent Violence: Unpacking the Effects of Social Learning, General Strain, and Peer Group Selection


This study examines how the victimization of a close friend, or vicarious peer victimization, affects adolescent violence. Competing processes linking vicarious peer victimization and violence are empirically evaluated including social learning theory, general stain theory, and peer group selection models. The analyses use peer-network data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Regression models demonstrate that the association between vicarious peer victimization and violence is attributed primarily to peer-group selection and social learning mechanisms. These findings indicate that victimization affects not only the immediate victims of violence, but permeates throughout adolescent social networks.

Publication Title

Deviant Behavior