Both cyber victimization and psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) have been associated with negative mental health outcomes among adolescents and young adults. The present study examined relations among cyber victimization, psychological IPV, and mental health outcomes (depressive symptoms, antisocial behavior) among first-year college students. Consistent with polyvictimization theory, we hypothesized that cyber victimization and psychological IPV would be related to each other. We also hypothesized that each would uniquely contribute to depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior, after accounting for the other. Participants (N = 342, M age = 18.33 years; 50% male) completed questionnaires during a single lab visit. Results indicated that cyber victimization and psychological IPV were related to each other, and both contributed uniquely to depressive symptoms, but only cyber victimization contributed uniquely to antisocial behavior. Exploratory analyses indicated that experiencing both cyber victimization and psychological IPV was necessary for increased depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior. This study is the first to establish a unique relation between cyber victimization and mental health problems, after accounting for psychological IPV. The findings also suggest a need to consider multiple forms of victimization when considering relations between specific types of victimization and mental health problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Computer Science Applications