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Immigrant children’s peer acceptance and victimization in kindergarten: the role of local language competence


von Grünigen, R; Perren, S; Nägele, C; Alsaker, F (2010). Immigrant children’s peer acceptance and victimization in kindergarten: the role of local language competence. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28(3):679-697.

Abstract

The study investigates peer acceptance and victimization of immigrant and Swiss children in kindergarten classes. Our first aim is to compare peer acceptance and victimization of Swiss and immigrant children. Secondly, we explore the role of their local language competences (LLCs). The sample was drawn from kindergartens in communities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. A representative sample of 568 boys and 522 girls (mean age 5.8 years) took part in the research. Teachers completed questionnaires on children's victimization, bullying, and LLC. The nationality background of parents was indicated by teachers and parents. To assess peer acceptance, a peer nomination method was used. Immigrant children showed less acceptance by peers and were more often victimized than their Swiss peers. There was a significant interaction effect for LLC and national background of mothers, showing that LLC was positively associated with peer acceptance for children of an immigrant background but not for Swiss children. Furthermore, peer acceptance mediated the effect of national background of mothers on victimization. Results are discussed in terms of the need to improve immigrant children's LLC.

Abstract

The study investigates peer acceptance and victimization of immigrant and Swiss children in kindergarten classes. Our first aim is to compare peer acceptance and victimization of Swiss and immigrant children. Secondly, we explore the role of their local language competences (LLCs). The sample was drawn from kindergartens in communities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. A representative sample of 568 boys and 522 girls (mean age 5.8 years) took part in the research. Teachers completed questionnaires on children's victimization, bullying, and LLC. The nationality background of parents was indicated by teachers and parents. To assess peer acceptance, a peer nomination method was used. Immigrant children showed less acceptance by peers and were more often victimized than their Swiss peers. There was a significant interaction effect for LLC and national background of mothers, showing that LLC was positively associated with peer acceptance for children of an immigrant background but not for Swiss children. Furthermore, peer acceptance mediated the effect of national background of mothers on victimization. Results are discussed in terms of the need to improve immigrant children's LLC.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:28 Jan 2011 11:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:28
Publisher:British Psychological Society
ISSN:0261-510X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1348/026151009X470582
PubMed ID:20849040

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