A new review summarizing the effects of victimization by peers in childhood and adolescence on physical health, sleep, and body weight

Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Duffy, A., & Stuart, J. (2019). Let’s get physical: Recent research on relations of adolescent peer victimization with psychosomatic symptoms, sleep, and body weight. Invited review for Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Psychology. doi:1111/jabr.12162


In this review, our purpose was to draw from meta‐analyses and studies of peer victimization and physical health (including psychosomatic symptoms, sleep, and body weight) to highlight key findings and future directions in the area. We also briefly summarized research findings that associated peer victimization with stress physiology.

We found that peer victimization is associated with poorer physical health among youth, including more somatic complaints (e.g., health concerns, pain) and disrupted sleep. Also, victimized youth are at more risk than other youth for increasing weight problems. These effects seem to be both immediate and long‐term, with associations found into later adolescence and even adulthood.

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