Electronic and School-Based Victimization: Unique Contexts for Adjustment Difficulties During Adolescence
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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.
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