Loneliness, Depressive Mood and Cyberbullying Victimization in Adolescent Victims of Cyber Dating Violence.

Research paper by María-Jesús MJ Cava, Inés I Tomás, Sofía S Buelga, Laura L Carrascosa

Indexed on: 19 Jun '20Published on: 19 Jun '20Published in: International journal of environmental research and public health


Currently, cyber dating violence (CDV) is a serious health problem among adolescents due to their frequent use of communication technologies in their romantic relationships including the use of these technologies to perpetrate dating violence. However, research on this topic is recent and more studies about victims' psychosocial adjustment are needed. The objectives of this study were to analyze the prevalence of CDV victimization according to frequency (occasional and frequent) and type (cyber control and cyber-aggression) and to explore their relations with loneliness, depressive mood and cyberbullying victimization. A total of 604 adolescents ( age = 14.32, = 1.67) who had a dating relationship at the time or in the past 12 months, participated in this study. The results showed a higher prevalence for cyber-control than cyber-aggression victimization, and positive correlations of CDV victimization with depressive mood and cyberbullying victimization in boys and girls. Positive correlations with loneliness were also observed for girls. The average effect size of the aforementioned correlations was large for girls and medium for boys. Both boys and girls who were frequent victims of CDV also suffered more cyberbullying by peers than those who were never, and occasionally, cyber victimized by their partners. Girls who were frequent victims of CDV also reported higher scores for loneliness and depressive mood, with a small average effect size. All these results highlight close relations between cyberbullying and CDV in adolescents, being necessary to pay greater attention to possible experiences of poly-victimization, and a worse psychosocial adjustment in frequently victimized girls than boys. These findings may be useful for developing more effective intervention programs.