U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Role of Gender in Peer Victimization Among Youth: A Study of Incidence, Interrelations, and Social Cognitive Correlates

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 6 Issue: 3 Dated: 2007 Pages: 27-44
Erika D. Felix; Susan D. McMahon
Date Published
18 pages
This study examined gender differences and similarities in the incidence of multiple forms of peer victimization--including direct verbal, physical, relational, and sexual harassment--among urban middle school students.
The findings indicate that direct physical/verbal, relational, and sexual harassment were interrelated experiences among the youth in the sample (n=111), and the experiences of girls and boys differed. For boys, but not girls, sexual harassment was associated with direct physical/verbal victimization and normative beliefs that supported aggression; whereas, among girls, but not boys, sexual harassment was associated with relational victimization. The most common types of victimization, as measured by the percentage of students who experienced it at least once, were sexual harassment and direct physical/verbal victimization, with girls and boys reporting similar rates of victimization. Almost one-half of the participants experienced all three types of victimization assessed. Few students reported no victimization. More boys than girls reported experiencing harassment alone, and more girls than boys reported harassment in conjunction with relational victimization. Sexual harassment, relational victimization, and other gender-related forms of aggression should be recognized as common, serious problems that affect youths' lives across settings and relationships and should be addressed in prevention and intervention efforts. Youth in sixth and eighth grades (n=111) completed self-report measures that assessed peer victimization experiences and normative beliefs about aggression. Direct physical and verbal victimization were measured with the Victimization subscale of the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire, and relational victimization was measured with the Relational Victimization Subscale of the Social Experience Questionnaire-Self-Report. This instrument assessed the frequency with which students perceived others as threatening harm to their relationships with peers. Sexual harassment was measured with the Sexual Experiences Questionnaire- High School Version. 4 tables and 35 references


No download available