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Friendship As Protection From Peer Victimization For Girls With And Without ADHD

Stephanie L. Cardoos, S. Hinshaw
Published 2011 · Medicine, Psychology

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The goal of this study was to examine the ability of friendship to moderate the association between behavioral risk and peer victimization for girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 140) and comparison girls (n = 88) in a 5-week naturalistic summer camp setting. Participants were an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse group of girls ages 6–12. Parents and teachers reported on pre-summer internalizing behavior, externalizing behavior, and social competence. Participants reported on friendships and peer victimization through a peer report measure at the summer camps; friendship was scored via mutual nominations. Pre-summer externalizing behavior, internalizing behavior, and low social competence predicted peer victimization at the summer camps. Friendship moderated the association between behavioral risk and victimization for the entire sample, such that the presence of at least one friend reduced the risk of victimization. Additional analyses suggested that girls with ADHD were no more or less protected by the presence of a friendship than were comparison girls. Finally, preliminary analyses suggested that girls having only friends with ADHD were not significantly less protected than girls with at least one comparison friend. Future directions and implications for intervention are discussed.
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