Date of Award

Fall 2021

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Donna Perkins

Second Advisor

Robert Eckstein

Third Advisor

Kimberly Mitchell Lema


Peer victimization has proven to be a prevalent issue for children and adolescents. The current study examined the possible bidirectional effect between peer and sibling victimization and delinquency, and assessed whether social support from family, friends, and other non-parental adults would mediate this association. Using longitudinal data from the Technology Harassment Victimization study, 791 participants were surveyed via telephone. Bivariate correlations were calculated first, and two Poisson regressions predicting delinquency and peer and sibling victimization at Time 2 were also performed. Three structural equation models with cross-lagged designs were also calculated. In the Poisson regressions, family and other adult social support, but not friend support (which was measured at Time 2), concurrently predicted delinquency. However, none of the social support sources predicted peer and sibling victimization concurrently. Results from the structural equation models showed that the relationship between peer and sibling victimization and delinquency was unidirectional, since earlier peer and sibling victimization predicted later delinquency, but earlier delinquency did not predict later peer and sibling victimization. Analyses also showed that various forms of social support partially mediated associations between earlier peer and sibling victimization and later delinquency. An additional model, total social support, partially mediated associations between the peer and sibling victimization and delinquency variables, and this model yielded a better fit for the data. Therefore, results suggest that receiving social support, regardless of the source from which the social support comes, can decrease the likelihood of delinquent behavior for children and adolescents who are victimized by peers or siblings.