Self-blame and peer victimization in middle school: an attributional analysis

Dev Psychol. 1998 May;34(3):587-99. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.34.3.587.


Relations between characterological versus behavioral self-blaming attributions for victimization and maladjustment were examined in middle school students. Respondents completed a questionnaire that assessed self-perceptions of victim status, attributions for hypothetical incidents of victimization, and feelings of loneliness, social anxiety, and low self-worth. They also completed peer nomination procedures measuring perceptions of victimization in others, as well as peer acceptance and rejection. Self-perceived victimization was associated with characterological self-blame, loneliness, anxiety, and low self-worth. Peer-perceived victimization, in contrast, was related to acceptance and rejection. The data suggest that self-views are more predictive of the intrapersonal consequences of victimization (loneliness, anxiety, low self-worth), whereas peer views are more predictive of interpersonal consequences (peer acceptance and rejection).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Character
  • Child
  • Guilt
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Loneliness
  • Peer Group*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Development*
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Scapegoating*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Sociometric Techniques