The joint effect of peer victimization and conflict with teachers on student engagement at the end of elementary school.


The present study examined the unique and joint effects of peer victimization and conflicts with teachers on student behavioral and affective engagement across the school year among a sample of 333 fifth- and sixth-grade students. Results first showed that peer victimization was not a significant predictor of students’ affective engagement, whereas conflicts with teachers were negatively associated with this outcome, but for girls only. Moreover, experiencing contentious relationships with teachers did not play a moderating role in the association between victimization and the affective dimension of engagement. However, conflictual relationships with teachers did moderate the link between boys’ victimization and the behavioral dimension of engagement such that greater behavioral adjustment was evidenced by boys who had low levels of peer victimization only if they also reported low levels of conflict with the teacher. Sensitizing teachers to this reality and encouraging them to modify their demeanor with vulnerable children who pass under their radar remains a productive focus of intervention.