Cyber Victimization on College Campuses: Longitudinal Associations With Suicidal Ideation, Depression, and Anxiety

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Abstract

Although much is known about the cross-sectional associations between cyber victimization and the negative socioemotional outcomes associated with this experience, not much is known about the longitudinal associations among college students. The purpose of the present study was to examine longitudinal, bidirectional associations between cyber victimization, suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety among college students, using cross-lagged models. These relationships were examined over 4 years. Participants were 1,483 college students (M age = 24.67; 60% female; 35% White, 15% Black/African American, 10% Latino/Latina, 6% Asian, and 4% biracial) from Southeastern universities in the United States. They completed self-reports of face-to-face and cyber victimization and questionnaires on suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety at four time points over 4 years. Findings revealed that cyber victimization contributed to suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety over time, and that suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety each contributed to cyber victimization over time as well. Such findings suggest bidirectional relationships between these variables, although there were differences in the size of the bivariate relationships. In particular, the magnitudes of the associations were stronger when cyber victimization predicted suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Recommendations are provided to help reduce or eliminate cyber victimization among students on college campuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal Justice Review
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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