Person–group dissimilarity in personality and peer victimization

S. Boele*, J.J. Sijtsema, T.A. Klimstra, J.J.A. Denissen, W.H.J. Meeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined the role of person–group dissimilarity in personality in peer victimization. It was hypothesized that adolescents who show more deviation from the classroom norm in personality experience more peer victimization. Data from 1108 adolescents (48% boys; Mage = 13.56 years, SD = 1.13) from 54 classrooms were used to test this hypothesis. Data included measurements of self-reported and bully-disclosed victimization and Big Five and Dark Triad personality traits. Results of generalized linear mixed models including polynomial equations and subsequent response surface analyses partly supported our hypothesis. Person–group dissimilarity in the shape of personality profiles was related to more bully-disclosed victimization, but not to self-reported victimization. Dissimilarity in neuroticism and Machiavellianism was related to both more self-reported and bully-disclosed victimization. Dissimilarity in extraversion, openness to experience, and psychopathy was only related to more self-reported victimization. Unexpectedly, dissimilarity in agreeableness was related to less self-reported victimization. Moreover, our results also indicated that certain levels of congruent person–group combinations in agreeableness, neuroticism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy were related to more peer victimization. Overall, findings of this study emphasize the importance of considering classroom norms in relation to peer victimization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-233
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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