The Short-Term Longitudinal and Reciprocal Relations Between Peer Victimization on Facebook and Adolescents' Well-Being
Although studies have shown that depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, and adolescents' online peer victimization are associated, there remain critical gaps in our understanding of these relationships. To address these gaps, the present two-wave panel study (N Time1 = 1840) (1) examines the short-term longitudinal and reciprocal relationships between peer victimization on Facebook, depressive symptoms and life satisfaction during adolescence, and (2) explores the moderating role of adolescents' gender, age, and perceived friend support. Self-report data from 1621 adolescent Facebook users (48 % girls; M Age = 14.76; SD = 1.41) were used to test our hypotheses. The majority of the sample (92 %) was born in Belgium. Cross-lagged analyses indicated that peer victimization on Facebook marginally predicted decreases in life satisfaction, and life satisfaction predicted decreases in peer victimization on Facebook. However, depressive symptoms were a risk factor for peer victimization on Facebook, rather than an outcome. In addition, support from friends protected adolescents from the harmful outcomes of peer victimization on Facebook. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.