Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

Comunicar Journal 67: Cyber convivencia as a social scenario: Ethics and emotions (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Anxiety and self-esteem in cyber-victimization profiles of adolescents


Andrea Núñez

David Álvarez-García

María-C. Pérez-Fuentes


This study has two objectives: (1) Identify profiles of victimization in adolescence, depending on the levels of offline or online peer aggression suffered, along with the prevalence of each profile; and (2) Analyse the association of the victimization profiles with adolescents’ social anxiety and self-esteem. The sample was comprised of 3120 adolescents aged 12 to 18 (M=14.03; SD=1.40) from Asturias (Spain), who completed self-report questionnaires about traditional peer victimization and cyber-victimization, as well as social anxiety and self-esteem. We performed descriptive analyses, Latent Profile Analyses, and multivariate analyses of variance. We found a positive, moderate correlation between being a cyber-victim and being a traditional victim, along with four profile types: non-victims (77.8%), mainly cyber-victims (13.5%), mainly traditional victims (4.5%), and dual victims (4.3%). Traditional victims and dual victims exhibited greater social anxiety and less self-esteem than cyber-victims, who exhibited greater social anxiety and less self-esteem than non-victims. Dual victims and traditional victims do not differ in social anxiety and self-esteem. The results contribute to the identification of patterns of victimization in school-age adolescents, and their relationship with social anxiety and self-esteem.


Victimization, cyber-victimization, cyberbullying, self-esteem, social anxiety, adolescence

PDF file in Spanish

PDF file in English


Acquah, E.O., Topalli, P.Z., Wilson, M.L., Junttila, N., & Niemi, P.M. (2016). Adolescent loneliness and social anxiety as predictors of bullying victimisation.International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 21(3), 320-331. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2015.1083449

Álvarez-García, D. (2020). Table 'Studies which have attempted to identify types of victims depending on extent of suffering from offline and online peer aggression in adolescence'. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12786470.v2

Álvarez-García, D., Barreiro-Collazo, A., & Núñez, J. (2017). Cyberaggression among adolescents: Prevalence and gender differences.[Ciberagresión entre adolescentes: Prevalencia y diferencias de género]. Comunicar, 50, 89-97. https://doi.org/10.3916/C50-2017-08

Álvarez-García, D., Núñez, J.C., Dobarro, A., & Rodríguez, C. (2015). Risk factors associated with cybervictimization in adolescence. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 15(3), 226?235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2015.03.002

Beltrán-Catalán, M., Zych, I., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & Llorent, V.J. (2018). Victimisation through bullying and cyberbullying: Emotional intelligence, severity of victimisation and technology use in different types of victims. Psicothema, 30(2), 183-188. https://doi.org/10.7334/psicothema2017.313

Calvete, E., Fernández-González, L., González-Cabrera, J.M., & Gámez-Guadix, M. (2018). Continued bullying victimization in adolescents: Maladaptive schemas as a mediational mechanism. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(3), 650-660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0677-5

Cañas, E., Estévez, E., Martínez-Monteagudo, M.C., & Delgado, B. (2020). Emotional adjustment in victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Social Psychology of Education, 23, 917-942. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-020-09565-z

Celeux, G., & Soromenho, G. (1996).An entropy criterion for assessing the number of clusters in a mixture model. Journal of Classification, 13, 195-212. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01246098

Chen, L., Ho, S.S., & Lwin, M.O. (2017). A meta-analysis of factors predicting cyberbullying perpetration and victimization: From the social cognitive and media effects approach. New Media & Society, 19(8), 1194-1213. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444816634037

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.https://doi.org/10.1016/c2013-0-10517-x

Cosma, A., Walsh, S.D., Chester, K.L., Callaghan, M., Molcho, M., Craig, W., & Pickett, W. (2020). Bullying victimization: Time trends and the overlap between traditional and cyberbullying across countries in Europe and North America. International Journal of Public Health, 65, 75-85. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-019-01320-2

Del-Rey, R., Mora-Merchán, J., Casas, J., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & Elipe, P. (2018). 'Asegúrate' program: Effects on cyber-aggression and its risk factors. [Programa «Asegúrate»: Efectos en ciberagresión y sus factores de riesgo].Comunicar, 56, 39-48. https://doi.org/10.3916/C56-2018-04

Galovan, A.M., Drouin, M., & McDaniel, B.T. (2018). Sexting profiles in the United States and Canada: Implications for individual and relationship well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 79, 19-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.10.017

Garaigordobil, M., Mollo-Torrico, J.P., Machimbarrena, J.M., & Páez, D. (2020). Cyberaggression in adolescents of Bolivia: Connection with psychopathological symptoms, adaptive and predictor variables. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 1022. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031022

Gini, G., Card, N.A., & Pozzoli, T. (2018). A meta-analysis of the differential relations of traditional and cyber-victimization with internalizing problems. Aggressive Behavior, 44(2), 185-198. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21742

Gini, G., Marino, C., Xie, J.Y., Pfetsch, J., &Pozzoli, T. (2019). Associations of traditional and peer cyber-victimization with adolescents’ Internet use: A latent profile analysis.Cyberpsychology, 13(4), 1. https://doi.org/10.5817/CP2019-4-1

Gómez-Ortiz, O., Roldán, R., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & García-López, L.J. (2017). Social anxiety and psychosocial adjustment in adolescents: Relation with peer victimization, self-esteem and emotion regulation. Child Indicators Research, 11(3), 1719-1736. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9506-3

González-Moreno, M.J., Cuenca-Piqueras, C., & Fernández-Prados, J.S. (2020). Cyberbullying and education: State of the art and bibliometric analysis. InICIET 2020: Proceedings of the 2020 8th International Conference on Information and Education Technology (pp. 191-195). ICIET. https://doi.org/10.1145/3395245.3396449

Gradinger, P., Yanagida, T., Strohmeier, D., & Spiel, C. (2016). Effectiveness and sustainability of the ViSC Social Competence Program to prevent cyberbullying and cyber-victimization: Class and individual level moderators. Aggressive Behavior, 42(2), 181-193. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21631

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J.W. (2015). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Thousand Oaks.

Hipp, J.R., & Bauer, D.J. (2006). Local solutions in the estimation of growth mixture models. Psychological Methods, 11(1), 36-53. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.11.1.36

Kowalski, R.M., Giumetti, G.W., Schroeder, A.N., & Lattanner, M.R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1073-1137. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035618

Landoll, R.R., La-Greca, A.M., Lai, B.S., Chan, S.F., & Herge, W.M. (2015). Cyber victimization by peers: Prospective associations with adolescent social anxiety and depressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescence, 42, 77-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.04.002

López-Castedo, A., Álvarez-García, D., Domínguez, J., & Álvarez, E. (2018). Expressions of school violence in adolescence. Psicothema, 30(4), 395-400. https://doi.org/10.7334/psicothema2018.130

Machimbarrena, J.M., Calvete, E., Fernández-González, L., Álvarez-Bardón, A., Álvarez-Fernández, L., & González-Cabrera, J. (2018). Internet risks: An Overview of victimization in cyberbullying, cyber dating abuse, sexting, online grooming and problematic Internet use. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(11), 2471. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112471

Marciano, L., Schulz, P.J., & Camerini, A.L. (2020). Cyberbullying perpetration and victimization in youth: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 25(2), 163-181. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmz031

Mehari, K.R., Farrell, A.D., & Le, A.T.H. (2014). Cyberbullying among adolescents: Measures in search of a construct. Psychology of Violence, 4(4), 399-415. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037521

Mindrila, D. (2019). Bullying and cyberbullying victimization and weapon carrying: A 3-step latent class analysis with a covariate and a distal outcome. International Journal for Infonomics, 12(1), 1854-1861. https://doi.org/10.20533/iji.1742.4712.2019.0189

Modecki, K.L., Minchin, J., Harbaugh, A.G., Guerra, N.G., & Runions, K.C. (2014). Bullying prevalence across contexts: A meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(5), 602-611. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.06.007

Muthén, L.K., & Muthén, B.O. (2012). Mplus user’s guide.Muthén & Muthén.https://bit.ly/3oonMFt

Nylund, K.L., Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B.O. (2007). Deciding on the number of classes in latent class analysis and growth mixture modeling: A Monte Carlo simulation study. Structural Equation Modeling, 14(4), 535-569. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705510701575396

Olweus, D. (2012). Cyberbullying: An overrated phenomenon? European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(5), 520-538. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2012.682358

Pabian, S., & Vandebosch, H. (2016). An investigation of short-term longitudinal associations between social anxiety and victimization and perpetration of traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(2), 328-339. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0259-3

Pontillo, M., Tata, M.C., Averna, R., Demaria, F., Gargiullo, P., Guerrera, S., Pucciarini, M.L., Santonastaso, O., & Vicari, S. (2019). Peer victimization and onset of social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents. BrainSciences, 9(6), 132. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9060132

Romera, E.M., Gómez-Ortiz, O., & Ortega-Ruiz, R. (2016). The mediating role of psychological adjustment between peer victimization and social adjustment in adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01749

Ruíz-Martín, A., Bono-Cabré, R., & Magallón-Neri, E. (2019). Ciberacoso y ansiedad social en adolescentes: una revisión sistemática. Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes, 6(1), 9-15. https://doi.org/10.21134/rpcna.2019.06.1.1

Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2011). Counteracting bullying in Finland: The KiVa program and its effects on different forms of being bullied. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(5), 405-411. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025411407457

Sastre, A. (2016). Yo a eso no juego. Save the Children.https://bit.ly/33LK0cB

Silberg, J.L., Copeland, W., Linker, J., Moore, A.A., Roberson-Nay, R., & York, T.P. (2016). Psychiatric outcomes of bullying victimization: A study of discordant monozygotic twins. Psychological Medicine, 46(9), 1875-1883. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291716000362

Suárez-García, Z., Álvarez-García, D., & Rodríguez, C. (2020). Predictores de ser víctima de acoso escolar en Educación Primaria: Una revisión sistemática. Revista de Psicología y Educación, 15(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.23923/rpye2020.01.182

Tsaousis, I. (2016). The relationship of self-esteem to bullying perpetration and peer victimization among schoolchildren and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 31, 186-199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2016.09.005

Van-den-Eijnden, R., Vermulst, A., Van-Rooij, A.J., Scholte, R., & Van-de-Mheen, D. (2014). The bidirectional relationships between online victimization and psychosocial problems in adolescents: A comparison with real-life victimization. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43(5), 790-802. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-013-0003-9

Van-Geel, M., Goemans, A., Zwaanswijk, W., Gini, G., & Vedder, P. (2018). Does peer victimization predict low self-esteem, or does low selfesteem predict peer victimization? Meta-analyses on Longitudinal Studies. Developmental Review, 49, 31-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2018.07.001

Viau, S.J., Denault, A.S., Dionne, G., Brendgen, M., Geoffroy, M.C., Côté, S., Larose, S., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R.E., & Boivin, M. (2020). Joint trajectories of peer cyber and traditional victimization in adolescence: A look at risk factors. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 40(7), 936–965. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431619880339

Wang, J., Iannotti, R.J., Luk, J.W., & Nansel, T.R. (2010). Co-occurrence of victimization from five subtypes of bullying: Physical, verbal, social exclusion, spreading rumors, and cyber. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(10), 1103-1112. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsq048.

Williford, A., Orsi, R., DePaolis, K.J., & Isen, D. (2018). Cyber and traditional peer victimization: Examining unique associations with children’s internalizing difficulties. Children and Youth Services Review, 93, 51-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.07.001