Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 45, Issue 9, pp 1727–1743 | Cite as

Peer Cybervictimization Among Adolescents and the Associated Internalizing and Externalizing Problems: A Meta-Analysis

  • Benjamin W. FisherEmail author
  • Joseph H. Gardella
  • Abbie R. Teurbe-Tolon
Empirical Research


Numerous adolescents in the United States experience peer cybervictimization, which is associated with a series of internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger) and externalizing (e.g., aggression, substance use, risky sexual behavior) problems. The current study provides a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing research on these relationships. Included in the meta-analyses are 239 effect sizes from 55 reports, representing responses from 257,678 adolescents. The results of a series of random effects meta-analyses using robust variance estimation indicated positive and significant relationships between peer cybervictimization and a series of internalizing and externalizing problems, with point estimates of this relationship ranging from Pearson’s r = .14 to .34. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Cyberbullying Online victimization Internalizing problems Externalizing problems Meta-analysis 



The authors would like to thank Emily Tanner-Smith and Joshua Polanin for assistance with data analysis, as well as the editor and anonymous reviewers for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence for their insight and feedback. We also thank the authors of the primary studies with whom we communicated for their helpful communication and the additional information they provided about their studies.

Author Contributions

Author BWF conceived of the study, coordinated and participated in eligibility screening and coding of reports, conducted the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. Author JHG participated in eligibility screening and coding of reports and helped to draft the manuscript. Author ART participated in eligibility screening and coding of reports and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants conducted by any of the authors.


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin W. Fisher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joseph H. Gardella
    • 2
  • Abbie R. Teurbe-Tolon
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human and Organizational DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.United Way of Metropolitan NashvilleNashvilleUSA

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