Parental Maltreatment and Emotion Dysregulation as Risk Factors for Bullying and Victimization in Middle Childhood

Ann Shields, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

386 Scopus citations


Examined whether children who were maltreated by caregivers were more likely to bully others and to be at risk for victimization by peers. An additional focus was to investigate emotion's role in bullying and victimization among children at risk. Participants were 169 maltreated and 98 nonmaltreated boys and girls attending a summer day camp for inner-city children. As predicted, maltreated children were more likely than nonmaltreated children to bully other children. Bullying was especially prevalent among abused children who experienced maltreating acts of commission (physical or sexual abuse). Maltreatment also placed children at risk for victimization by peers. Gender did not moderate these findings, in that maltreated boys and girls appeared to be at similar risk for bullying and victimization. As expected, both bullies and victims evidenced problems with emotion regulation. Furthermore, logistic regression analyses suggested that emotion dysregulation made a unique contribution toward differentiating bullies and victims from children who did not evidence bully-victim problems. In addition, maltreatment's effects on children's risk for bullying and victimization were mediated by emotion dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-363
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


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