*Beaulieu G, Denault A-S, Verlaan P, Déry M. (2015). Peer victimization and psychosocial adjustment in the elementary school: Looking at the moderating effect of organized activities. Revue de Psychoéducation. 44(2): 197-218.
The experience of peer victimization is common in North American elementary schools and is associated with several adverse effects on children’ adjustment. The goal of this study was to examine the predictive associations between victimization and internalized and externalized behaviors among elementary school children from disadvantaged neighborhoods. The moderating effect of participation in organized activities on these associations was also examined. The sample consisted of 394 children (Mage = 7.84; 51 % girls) assessed at two time points at a one-year interval. The study variables were measured using questionnaires completed by the child’s primary caregiver and by teachers. After controlling for students’ prior behaviors and family income, results revealed that peer victimization predicted an increase in both internalized and externalized behaviors one year later. In addition, victimization predicted an increase in internalized behaviors only among children who were not participating in organized activities. This study adds to previous research by considering at-risk children and the moderating role of activity participation. Results also underline the importance of educating the school personnel about the potential positive impact of participation in organized activities for youths who are victimized by their peers.