08 July 2019

Depression, anxiety, and peer victimization: Bidirectional relationships and associated outcomes transitioning from childhood to adolescence

This research used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to examine the relationships between depression, anxiety and peer victimisation and their impact on later negative wellbeing outcomes (school connectedness, social outcomes, quality of life, and global health) at two times, when the children were aged 10-11 years, and when they were 12-13. A For both girls and boys, peer victimisation experiences at age 10-11 predicted both depression and anxiety symptoms at age 12-13. Also, depression and anxiety symptoms at age 10-11 for boys and girls both independently predicted peer victimisation experiences at age 12-13.  Peer victimisation, anxiety, and depression symptoms at age 10-11 were all independent predictors of later negative wellbeing at 12-13 years. These findings demonstrated the importance of implementing early interventions that simultaneously target depression, anxiety and peer victimisation in schools.