This study investigated the relations of adolescent and parent reports of adolescents’ aggression and victimization on social media with self-perception (e.g., self-esteem, narcissism) and psychosocial adjustment (e.g., attention problems, conduct problems, anxiety, depression).
The sample consisted of 428 participants (214 parent–adolescent dyads) from the United States, with adolescents ranging from 14 to 17 years of age.
The majority of adolescents and parents reported that the adolescents had not engaged in social media aggression or experienced victimization; however, nearly one-third of parents reported that they were “unsure.” Those involved in such online interactions tended to demonstrate a variety of psychosocial difficulties. Specifically, parent- and adolescent-reported aggression were associated with parent-reported inattention, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as adolescent-reported narcissism, loneliness, fear of missing out (FoMO), and lower self-esteem. Adolescent-reported victimization was associated with many parent-reported indicators of adjustment as well as adolescent-reported loneliness, FoMO, and lower self-esteem.
Social media aggression and victimization were related to a variety of indicators of adolescent self-perception and adjustment. Importantly, adolescents who reported experiencing social media aggression and victimization tended to be viewed by their parents as more maladjusted. Implications for further research on the developmental trajectories of these relations are discussed.