Previous studies have identified associations between peer relationship quality and psychological problems. The current study seeks to expand this research by 1) examining these associations within high-risk adolescents; 2) using diverse dimensions of peer relationship quality; and 3) considering potential gender differences. This study sample includes 635 youth at-risk of maltreatment derived from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) data. To eradicate within-cluster effects, the Generalized Estimating Equations approach was conducted. Results revealed that adolescents who had higher conflict with their peers showed higher levels of anger/irritability and depression. There were significant interaction effects between gender and intimacy on anger/irritability and depression. Female adolescents who had higher levels of intimacy with their peers showed greater anger/irritability and depression, compared to males who had higher levels of intimacy. Findings advance our knowledge of gender differences in the effects of peer relationship quality on psychological symptoms among youth at-risk of maltreatment.
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- Gender difference
- Peer relationship
- Psychological symptoms