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03-05-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2019

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2019

Pathways from Cyberbullying Victimization to Negative Health Outcomes among Elementary School Students: a Longitudinal Investigation

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2019
Kathryn J. DePaolis, Anne Williford


Growing concern about the negative effects experienced by youth exposed to cyberbullying victimization has led to a rapid increase of scientific inquiry in this area in recent years. However, few studies have focused on younger children despite some evidence suggesting substantial technology use among children in elementary school. To that end, the purpose of the present study was to explore change in cyberbullying victimization across time among a sample of elementary school students and to examine how such change impacted later health-related outcomes. A total of 660 and 960 3rd through 5th grade students participated in year one and year two of the study respectively. Latent-variable growth curve modeling (LGM) was used to examine changes in cyberbullying victimization across four waves of data and to explore the impact of these changes on later social, emotional and academic outcomes. Results revealed no consistent pattern of growth in victimization among participants over the course of the study. However, initial levels of cyberbullying victimization were significantly different from zero, suggesting that a notable number of participants reported exposure to this form of victimization at baseline data collection. Further, initial levels of cyberbullying victimization were found to have a significant impact on later health outcomes, including self-esteem and school connection with depressive symptoms approaching significance.

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