Peer rejection and social information-processing factors in the development of aggressive behavior problems in children.
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The relation between social rejection and growth in antisocial behavior was investigated. In Study 1,259 boys and girls (34% African American) were followed from Grades 1 to 3 (ages 6-8 years) to Grades 5 to 7 (ages 10-12 years). Early peer rejection predicted growth in aggression. In Study 2,585 boys and girls (16% African American) were followed from kindergarten to Grade 3 (ages 5-8 years), and findings were replicated. Furthermore, early aggression moderated the effect of rejection, such that rejection exacerbated antisocial development only among children initially disposed toward aggression. In Study 3, social information-processing patterns measured in Study 1 were found to mediate partially the effect of early rejection on later aggression. In Study 4, processing patterns measured in Study 2 replicated the mediation effect. Findings are integrated into a recursive model of antisocial development.
Kenneth A. Dodge is the William McDougall Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also the founding and past director of the Center for Child and Family Policy, as well as the founder of Family Connects International.
Dodge is a leading scholar in the development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors. His work provides a model for understanding how some young children grow up to engage in aggression and violence and provides a framework for intervening early to prevent the costly consequences of violence for children and their communities.
Dodge joined the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy in September 1998. He is trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist, having earned his B.A. in psychology at Northwestern University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University in 1978. Prior to joining Duke, Dodge served on the faculty at Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University.
Dodge's research has resulted in the Family Connects Program, an evidence-based, population health approach to supporting families of newborn infants. Piloted in Durham, NC, and formerly known as Durham Connects, the program attempts to reach all families giving birth in a community to assess family needs, intervene where needed, and connect families to tailored community resources. Randomized trials indicate the program's success in improving family connections to the community, reducing maternal depression and anxiety, and preventing child abuse. The model is currently expanding to many communities across the U.S.
Dodge has published more than 500 scientific articles which have been cited more than 120,000 times.
Elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, Dodge has received many honors and awards, including the following:
- President (Elected), Society for Research in Child Development
- Fellow, Society for Prevention Research
- Distinguished Scientist, Child Mind Institute
- Research Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health
- Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the American Psychological Association
- J.P. Scott Award for Lifetime Contribution to Aggression Research from the International Society for Research on Aggression
- Science to Practice Award from the Society for Prevention Research
- Inaugural recipient of the “Public Service Matters” Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
- Inaugural recipient of the Presidential Citation Award for Excellence in Research from the Society for Research on Adolescence
Jennifer Lansford is the director of the Center for Child and Family Policy and S. Malcolm Gillis Distinguished Research Professor of Public Policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy.
Dr. Lansford's research focuses on the development of aggression and other behavior problems in youth, with an emphasis on how family and peer contexts contribute to or protect against these outcomes. She examines how experiences with parents (e.g., physical abuse, discipline, divorce) and peers (e.g., rejection, friendships) affect the development of children's behavior problems, how influence operates in adolescent peer groups, and how cultural contexts moderate links between parenting and children's adjustment.
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