The Development of Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms among Adolescents Who Experience Cyber and Traditional Victimization over Time

Abstract

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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Authors' Contributions

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.

Funding

The study was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant (Grant #410-2011-1001).

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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.

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Correspondence to Brett Holfeld or Faye Mishna.

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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

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Keywords

  • Cyber victimization
  • Traditional victimization
  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms
  • Adolescence
  • Longitudinal