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Peer victimisation in adolescents with DLD

Oncioiu, S. I., Nation, K., Lim, K. X., Pingault, J. B., & Bowes, L. (2024). Concurrent and longitudinal associations of developmental language disorder with peer victimization in adolescence: evidence from a co‐twin study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Key terms that are in this paper:

  • Peer victimisation: being treated in an aggressive manner by other people in a similar age group.

  • Pragmatics: the ability to use appropriate language in different social environments.

  • Internalisation: blaming oneself when bad things happen.

Aim of the paper:

Young people with DLD may face challenges socialising with their peers, but it is not clear why. It is important to understand the role of DLD in peer relationships in young people. Therefore, this study aims to:

  • Compare the peer victimisation at 11, 14, and 16 years old between young people with DLD and those without.

  • Compare the peer victimisation at 11, 14, and 16 years old between young people with poor pragmatic skills and those without.

What was found:

  • From 11 to 16 years old, young people with DLD were more likely to experience peer victimisation than those without DLD.

  • Young people with poor pragmatic skills were more likely to experience peer victimisation at age 11, but not 14 and 16.

  • Genetic and environmental factors may impact both DLD and peer victimisation. For example: young people with DLD may tend to internalise problems, which may be genetic. Internalisation may also increase the risk these young people are treated aggressively by their peers.

  • On average, the level of peer victimisation decreased slightly with age.

What does this mean?

  • It may not be language abilities, but behaviours related to DLD (e.g., taking longer time to respond) that cause peer victimisation.

  • Therefore, interventions should focus on the communicative context in order to help young people with DLD.

  • Interventions can focus on creating environments that support young people with DLD to navigate their peer relationships.

Where can I read this paper?

This paper is open access, which means everyone can read it. Please click here to find the full paper:

Summary written by Shimin Wang


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