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Adolescents’ Psychological Consequences and Cyber Victimization: The Moderation of School-Belongingness and Ethnicity

1
Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA
2
Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic
3
Department of Educational Studies, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2493; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142493
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Inequalities in Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being)
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Abstract

Cyber victimization research reveals various personal and contextual correlations and negative consequences associated with this experience. Despite increasing attention on cyber victimization, few studies have examined such experiences among ethnic minority adolescents. The purpose of the present study was to examine the moderating effect of ethnicity in the longitudinal associations among cyber victimization, school-belongingness, and psychological consequences (i.e., depression, loneliness, anxiety). These associations were investigated among 416 Latinx and white adolescents (46% female; M age = 13.89, SD = 0.41) from one middle school in the United States. They answered questionnaires on cyber victimization, school belongingness, depression, loneliness, and anxiety in the 7th grade (Time 1). One year later, in the 8th grade (Time 2), they completed questionnaires on depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Low levels of school-belongingness strengthened the positive relationships between cyber victimization and Time 2 depression and anxiety, especially among Latinx adolescents. The positive association between cyber victimization and Time 2 loneliness was strengthened for low levels of school-belongingness for all adolescents. These findings may indicate that cyber victimization threatens adolescents’ school-belongingness, which has implications for their emotional adjustment. Such findings underscore the importance of considering diverse populations when examining cyber victimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyberbullying; cyber victimization; depression; anxiety; loneliness; Latinx; Latino; adolescents; ethnic; ethnic differences cyberbullying; cyber victimization; depression; anxiety; loneliness; Latinx; Latino; adolescents; ethnic; ethnic differences
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wright, M.F.; Wachs, S. Adolescents’ Psychological Consequences and Cyber Victimization: The Moderation of School-Belongingness and Ethnicity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2493.

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