Electronic Victimization: Correlates, Antecedents, and Consequences Among Elementary and Middle School Students
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Child Health Promotion Research Centre
We examined the occurrence of electronic-only, traditional-only, and traditional and electronic bullying, and the antecedents and consequences of electronic versus traditional victimization. A large data set including 17,625 students from elementary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 7-8) was utilized to examine the prevalence of students with diverse victimization profiles. A longitudinal subsample of 7,850 students was used to test hypotheses regarding the antecedents and consequences of electronic victimization when occurring in isolation from traditional forms versus accompanied by them. According to the main findings, (a) the victims of electronic bullying were in most cases bullied in traditional ways as well; (b) being a target of electronic-only victimization was not predicted by either intrapersonal (depression) or interpersonal (low social acceptance) risk factors; and (c) electronic victimization, when occurring in isolation from traditional victimization, did not contribute to increases in depression over time. Electronic victimization is rare, and is almost always accompanied by traditional victimization. It leads to increases in depression only when combined with traditional victimization. Rather than shifting attention from traditional to electronic victimization, educators should continue their efforts on reducing victimization in general.