Adolescents’ experiences of bullying victimization are positively associated with their post-traumatic stress symptoms. The development of these symptoms alongside experiences of bullying victimization over time, however, are not well understood. The current study used a transactional theory of development to examine the bidirectional associations between adolescents’ post-traumatic stress symptoms and experiences of cyber and traditional victimization across three academic years. Participants were 510 Canadian students in grade 7 or 10 (Mage = 13.7, 61.6% girls) who completed surveys annually. The findings show that adolescents’ concurrent experiences of cyber and traditional victimization were uniquely associated with their post-traumatic stress symptoms. Over time, greater post-traumatic stress symptoms were associated with more experiences of cyber and traditional victimization among adolescent boys and girls. Prevention and intervention efforts must address the role of post-traumatic stress symptoms that may limit adolescents’ ability to develop or maintain healthy relationships.
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FM conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and supervised data collection; BH performed the statistical analyses, interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The study was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant (Grant #410-2011-1001).
Data Sharing and Declaration
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article. The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the University of Toronto’s Research Ethics Board and the External Research Review Committee at the partnering school board.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (and their parents) included in the study.
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Holfeld, B., Mishna, F. The Development of Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms among Adolescents Who Experience Cyber and Traditional Victimization over Time. J Youth Adolescence (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01394-3
- Cyber victimization
- Traditional victimization
- Post-traumatic stress symptoms