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.
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References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis
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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 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.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants conducted by any of the authors.
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Fisher, B.W., Gardella, J.H. & Teurbe-Tolon, A.R. Peer Cybervictimization Among Adolescents and the Associated Internalizing and Externalizing Problems: A Meta-Analysis. J Youth Adolescence 45, 1727–1743 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0541-z
- Online victimization
- Internalizing problems
- Externalizing problems