Electronic and School-Based Victimization: Unique Contexts for Adjustment Difficulties During Adolescence
- 629 Downloads
Previous research suggests that school-based and electronic victimization have similar negative consequences, yet it is unclear whether these two contexts offer overlapping or unique associations with adolescents’ adjustment. 802 ninth-graders (43% male, mean age = 15.84 years), majority being Caucasian (82%), completed measures assessing the prevalence of school and electronic victimization, as well as self-reports on self-esteem, self-efficacy, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and locus of control. Results revealed that the majority of adolescents did not report being victimized in either the electronic (75.3%) or the school (72.9%) context. Victimization in both contexts was associated with lower self-esteem and self-efficacy as well as higher stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and locus of control. Importantly, even after controlling for school-based victimization, electronic victimization remained as a significant predictor for all outcome measures. Different types of electronic victimization were also associated with different psychological outcomes. The findings suggest that it is important to distinguish between victimization contexts and specific adjustment outcomes as school and health officials continue to battle the effects of peer victimization.
KeywordsVictimization Technology Internet Adolescence Anxiety Depressive symptoms Self-esteem
The authors would like to thank the adolescents, parents, and teachers who participated in this study. Special thanks should also be extended to Cassandra Coddington and Somer Bishop for their thoughtful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
- Cole, D. A., Maxwell, M. A., Dukewich, T. L., & Yosick, R. (2010). Targeted peer victimization and the construction of positive and negative self-cognitions: Connections to depressive symptoms in children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 39, 421–435. doi:10.1080/15374411003691776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F. I. M., Fredriks, M., Vogels, T., & Verloove-Vanhorick, S. P. (2006). Do bullied children get ill or do ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms. Pediatrics, 117, 1568–1574. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-0187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lenhart, A., Arafeh, S., Smith, A., & Macgill, A. (2008). Writing, technology and teens. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved March 23, 2010. Available from: http://www.pewinternet.org.
- Nishina, A., Juvonen, J., & Witkow, M. R. (2005). Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will make me feel sick: The psychosocial, somatic, and scholastic consequences of peer harassment. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 37–48. doi:10.1207/s15374424jccp3401.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school. Cambridge: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2004). Behavior assessment system for children (2nd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
- Rigby, K. (1998). Suicidal ideation and bullying among Australian secondary school children. Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 15, 45–46.Google Scholar
- Rotter, J. B. (1982). The development and application of social learning theory. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
- van der Aa, N., Overbeek, G., Engels, R. C. M. E., Scholte, R. H. J., Meerkerk, G., & Van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M. (2008). Daily and compulsive internet use and well-being in adolescence: A diathesis-stress model based on big five personality traits. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 765–776. doi:10.1007/s10964-008-9298-3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zins, J. E., & Elias, M. J. (Eds.). (2007). Bullying, victimization, and peer harassment: A handbook of prevention and intervention. New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar