Developmental Trajectories of Preschool Children’s Bullying Behavior: Prediction of Peer Relationships

Minghao Zhang, Zhongxia He, Kedi Zhao, Min Xu, Yaohua Zhang, Xinfei Li, Xiaohui Xu


A longitudinal study was conducted with 425 preschool children during a one-and-a-half-year period to investigate the developmental trajectory of preschool children’s bullying behavior and the prediction of peer relationships in this trajectory. The latent growth curve model (LGCM) and mixed growth model (GMM) were conducted on Mplus to investigate the normative development trajectory and heterogeneity of preschool children’s bullying behavior. Results showed that: (1) In general, preschool children’s bullying increased with age, and two significantly different sub-trajectories were identified through the model-fitting parameters. One was the “low-slow increasing” group, accounting for 88.47% of participants; the other group was the “high-fast decreasing” group, accounting for 11.53% of participants. (2) Peer rejection positively predicted preschool children’s bullying behavior, while peer acceptance and gender were not significant predictors. This study uncovered preschool children’s bullying behavior from a developmental perspective and provided further theoretical evidence for future intervention programs to reduce bullying behaviors.

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Journal of Education and Development  ISSN 2529-7996 (Print)  ISSN 2591-7250 (Online)

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