Multidimensional Similarity in Multiplex Networks: Friendships Between Same- and Cross-Gender Bullies and Same- and Cross-Gender Victims

Marianne Hooijsma*, Gijs Huitsing, Dorottya Kisfalusi, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Andreas Flache, René Veenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

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Similar peers are more likely to become friends, but it remains unclear how the combination of multiple characteristics, known as multidimensional similarity, influences friendships. This study aimed to investigate whether similarity in gender (attribute) and bullying or victimization (network position) contributes to friendships. The school-level networks of friendships and victim-bully relationships in 17 Dutch elementary schools (2,130 students) were examined using multiplex longitudinal social network models (RSiena). The results showed that friendships were more likely to occur between same-gender peers and between bullies sharing their targets of victimization. Multidimensional similarity (similarities in gender as well as bullying) increased the likelihood of friendships for same-gender bullies targeting the same victims, but not for same-gender victims sharing bullies. The findings underline the importance of unraveling the interplay between different dimensions of similarity for children’s relationships and surpass unidimensional similarity based on single attributes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalNetwork Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2020

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