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When do peers matter? The moderating role of peer support in the relationship between environmental adversity, complex trauma, and adolescent psychopathology in socially disadvantaged adolescents

Yearwood, K; Vliegen, N; Chau, C; Corveleyn, J; Luyten, P; (2019) When do peers matter? The moderating role of peer support in the relationship between environmental adversity, complex trauma, and adolescent psychopathology in socially disadvantaged adolescents. Journal of Adolescence , 72 pp. 14-22. 10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.02.001.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: This study examined the longitudinal associations between environmental adversity (defined in terms of exposure to violence in the neighborhood, school, and media), complex trauma (operationalized as experiences of abuse and neglect), and adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing symptoms. METHODS: Using a cross-lagged panel research design, we investigated the moderating role of peer support in these relationships in a sample of 644 adolescents from a severely disadvantaged district of Lima, Peru, who were followed up in a 1-year prospective study. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: We found significant unidirectional dynamic relations, where both types of adversity were associated with higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Peer support significantly moderated this effect, but only for complex trauma, in that higher levels of peer support were associated with a decreased impact of complex trauma on internalizing and externalizing symptoms. These findings highlight the importance of social relations and the quality of peer relations in particular as factors that may mitigate the risk of early exposure to trauma.

Type: Article
Title: When do peers matter? The moderating role of peer support in the relationship between environmental adversity, complex trauma, and adolescent psychopathology in socially disadvantaged adolescents
DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.02.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.02.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Early adversity, Complex trauma, Environmental adversity, Peer support, Internalizing symptoms, Externalizing symptoms
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066830
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