Friendship quality as a protective factor against maladjustment outcomes for victimized adolescents
Manen, L. van
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Victimization can have serious negative impact on adolescents’ well-being with consequences that last into young adulthood. In this study, we examined the protective function of friendship quality for victimized adolescents. Participants were 293 Finnish adolescents (124 boys and169 girls; Mage 13.42). We measured three friendship quality indices (positive friendship quality, conflict and co-rumination) and three maladjustment outcome variables (anger, sadness and anxiety). We expected that adolescents high in positive friendship quality or low in conflict to be less maladjusted. At co-rumination we looked more exploratory. We were able to partially confirm our hypotheses. Our results showed that whereas the link between victimization and anger became weaker as the levels of positive friendship quality and co-rumination decreased, victimization-sadness associations became weaker as the levels of positive friendship quality increased. Unexpectedly, victimization-sadness associations also became weaker as the levels of conflict and co-rumination increased. Our results suggest that high levels of positive friendship quality and low levels of conflict might not always provide a protective function. Implications for interventions are discussed.