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Peer victimization is associated with and predictive of internalizing symptoms, such as loneliness and depression. Social support has been found to moderate the relationship between victimization and internalizing symptoms, with increased levels of support related to lower levels of internalizing symptoms for victims of peer abuse. The current study examined if organized out-of-school activity participation was associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms for adolescents in general and for those victimized by peers. Possible gender differences were also explored. Results indicated that participating in a broader range of activities (breadth of participation) was generally associated with higher levels of internalizing symptoms, but participating in more days per week of activities (intensity of participation) was generally associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms. The interactions between victimization and both breadth and intensity differentially predict internalizing symptoms based on gender. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Advisor: Eric Buhs