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 journalArticle

53 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 (US)
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume42
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Cyber victimization
  • Depression
  • Peer victimization
  • Social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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