Cyber victimization by peers: Prospective associations with adolescent social anxiety and depressive symptoms

Ryan R Landoll, Annette M La Greca, Betty S Lai, Sherilynn F Chan, Whitney M Herge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Peer victimization that occurs via electronic media, also termed cybervictimization, is a growing area of concern for adolescents. The current study evaluated the short-term prospective relationship between cybervictimization and adolescents' symptoms of social anxiety and depression over a six-week period. Participants were 839 high-school aged adolescents (14-18 years; 58% female; 73% Hispanic White), who completed measures of traditional peer victimization, cybervictimization, depression, and social anxiety at two time points. Findings supported the distinctiveness of cybervictimization as a unique form of peer victimization. Furthermore, only cybervictimization was associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms over time, and only relational victimization was associated with increased social anxiety over time, after controlling for the comorbidity of social anxiety and depression among youth. Cybervictimization appears to be a unique form of victimization that contributes to adolescents' depressive symptoms and may be important to target in clinical and preventive interventions for adolescent depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of adolescence
Volume42
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying
  • Crime Victims/psychology
  • Depressive Disorder/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Peer Group
  • Phobic Disorders/diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics/statistics & numerical data
  • Social Marginalization/psychology
  • Social Networking
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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