Longitudinal and Reciprocal Relations of Cyberbullying With Depression, Substance Use, and Problematic Internet Use Among Adolescents

Psychology Department of Personality, Assessment and Treatment, University of Deusto, Vizcaya, Spain. Electronic address: .
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 05/2013; 53(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.03.030
Source: PubMed


To analyze the temporal and reciprocal relationships between being a victim of cyberbullying (CB) and three frequent problems during adolescence: depressive symptoms, substance use, and problematic Internet use; also, to analyze whether the relationship between CB and these psychological and behavioral health problems differs as a function of being only a victim or being both bully and victim.

A total of 845 adolescents (mean age = 15.2, SD = 1.2) completed measures at T1 and at T2, 6 months apart. The relationship among variables was analyzed using structural equation modeling.

CB victimization at T1 predicted depressive symptoms and problematic Internet use at T2, and higher depressive symptoms and more substance use at T1 predicted more CB victimization at T2. However, the relationships of CB predicting substance use and problematic Internet use predicting CB were not significant. Bully-victims presented higher levels than victims of all three problem variables, both at T1 and T2.

CB is predictive of some significant psychological and behavioral health problems among adolescents. Intervention efforts should pay attention to these in the prevention and treatment of consequences of CB.

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    • "Cyberbullying is a frequent societal problem nowadays (De Fazio and Sgarbi 2012; Fredstrom et al. 2011; Gámez-Guadix et al. 2013; Vieno et al. 2011; for a recent review and meta-analysis, see Kowalski et al. 2014). This type of aggressive behavior is defined as repetitive and intentional acts carried out by an individual or a group using Internet and mobile phones against a victim who cannot easily defend him/herself (Hinduja and Patchin 2008; Smith et al. 2008). "

    European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10610-015-9292-8 · 0.53 Impact Factor
    • "However, for traditional victimization, the results did indicate a bidirectional relationship (van den Eijnden et al., 2013). Another longitudinal study did find bidirectional relations between cyber victimization and depression (Gámez-Guadix et al., 2013). Possibly, different types of mental health problems increase a youngster's vulnerability to traditional victimization more than to cyber victimization. "
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the current research on the negative outcomes of traditional and cyberbullying concerning psychological health, physical health, social functioning, and behaviour problems. They explore these problems from the perspective of bullies, victims, bully/victims, and bystanders, and discuss whether the impact of cyberbullying compared to traditional bullying on the outcomes is equal, less, or more severe. Furthermore, they discuss the interrelatedness between (cyber-)bullying and negative (health) outcomes.
    Cyberbullying: From Theory to Interventions, Edited by Trijntje Vollinck, Francine Dehue, Connar McGuckin, 07/2015: chapter 4: pages 54-81; Psychology Press.
    • "A central question these studies attempt to answer is whether youth that exhibit depressive symptoms go into online spaces or behave in ways that make them more susceptible to experiencing cybervictimization or is depression a consequence of these experiences [29]. For example, longitudinal study by Gamez-Guadix et al. [27] explores associations between cybervictimization, depression, substance use, and problematic Internet use. They found that victimization at Time 1 predicted depression and problematic Internet use at Time 2. In addition, increased levels of depressed mood and substance use at Time 1 predicted more victimization at Time 2. However, additional time points may be needed to fully understand the temporal sequence of cybervictimization and mental health outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: An emerging body of literature suggests that victims of bullying report detrimental mental health outcomes, such as depression and anxiety. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between cybervictimization, depression, and anxiety among school-aged youth over a 3-year time frame. Students in Grades 6 through 12 at the initial wave of the study responded to survey items designed to assess their online experiences, including cybervictimization and self-reported depression and anxiety at three separate time points, over a 3-year period. In total, 559 school-aged youth participated in the study. Results suggest a reciprocal relationship between cybervictimization and depression and cybervictimization and anxiety. More specifically, depression at Time 1 predicted cybervictimization at Time 2, depression at Time 2 predicted cybervictimization at Time 3, and cybervictimization at Time 1 predicted depression at Time 3. Additionally, cybervictimization at Time 1 predicted anxiety at Time 2, cybervictimization at Time 2 predicted anxiety at Time 3, and anxiety at Time 1 predicted cybervictimization at Time 2. Based on the findings from this study, cybervictimization, depression, and anxiety seem to have a reciprocal relationship. Therefore, educational and mental health professionals should consider interventions that address adolescents' online experiences, while supporting mental health and social and emotional learning. Copyright © 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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