Adolescents’ psychological consequences and cyber victimization: The moderation of school-belongingness and ethnicity

Michelle F. Wright, Sebastian Wachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2493
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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