Trajectories of social withdrawal from middle childhood to early adolescence

Wonjung Oh, Kenneth H. Rubin, Julie C. Bowker, Cathryn Booth-LaForce, Linda Rose-Krasnor, Brett Laursen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heterogeneity and individual differences in the developmental course of social withdrawal were examined longitudinally in a community sample (N∈=∈392). General Growth Mixture Modeling (GGMM) was used to identify distinct pathways of social withdrawal, differentiate valid subgroup trajectories, and examine factors that predicted change in trajectories within subgroups. Assessments of individual (social withdrawal), interactive (prosocial behavior), relationship (friendship involvement, stability and quality, best friend's withdrawal and exclusion/victimization) and group- (exclusion/ victimization) level characteristics were used to define growth trajectories from the final year of elementary school, across the transition to middle school, and then to the final year of middle school (fifth-to-eighth grades). Three distinct trajectory classes were identified: low stable, increasing, and decreasing. Peer exclusion, prosocial behavior, and mutual friendship involvement differentiated class membership. Friendlessness, friendship instability, and exclusion were significant predictors of social withdrawal for the increasing class, whereas lower levels of peer exclusion predicted a decrease in social withdrawal for the decreasing class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-566
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Developmental trajectories
  • Exclusion
  • Friendship
  • Social withdrawal

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