Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Date of this Version



Published in School Mental Health 12 (2020), pp 732–742. DOI: 10.1007/s12310-020-09383-w


Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020. Used by permission.


The current study sought to examine the prospective relationship of peer victimization on changes in Asian American youth’s depressive symptoms during early adolescence, a crucial period for the development of depression and engagement in peer victimization among youth. Further, as guided by cultural–ecological frameworks, the current study also sought to examine the role of school-based peer support and gender as moderators on the relationship between peer victimization and depressive symptoms among this understudied population. Participants included Asian American youth (N = 232; M age = 12.96, SD = 1.40; 51% girls) who completed questionnaires in the school context. Data for this study included two measurement occasions over a 1-year interval. Results indicated that high levels of adolescents’ perceptions of peer victimization were associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms 1 year later. Additionally, results indicated that peer victimization interacted with reports of peer support within school, such that under conditions of moderate to high levels of school-based peer support, high levels of peer victimization related to increased depressive symptoms. Findings contribute to our understanding of the development of depressive symptoms among early adolescent Asian American youth and have implications for school-based depression prevention programming for Asian American youth.