Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Demaray, Michelle

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Bullying is not a new phenomenon, however, given the frequent technology use by youth, bullying has taken on a new platform, the internet (i.e., cyberbullying). Those who are victimized online are at risk for various unfortunate outcomes, such as depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies depression as the "single largest contributor to global disability," and the impacts of depression are vast, affecting the daily lives of many. Among a sample of middle school students (N = 126), the current study initially sought to investigate whether symptoms of social anxiety and social media rumination (SMR) serially mediated the association between cybervictimization and depressive symptoms, and whether gender moderated any pathways. However, for reasons described later, an additional ("exploratory") model was run and presented as well. In the exploratory model, SMR was divided into two variables (SMR – Self measures rumination on one’s own social media and SMR – Other measures rumination about other’s social media). SMR (Self and Other) and anxiety symptoms, respectively, were included in the model as mediators. Results suggested that serial mediation occurred in a model with symptoms social anxiety and SMR as mediators and when females and males were examined together. Serial mediation also occurred in the exploratory models with SMR – Self and SMR – Other, however, when boys and girls were examined separately in the multigroup models, serial mediation did not occur for either gender. Last, gender did not significantly moderate any pathways in the model including SMR – Self or SMR – Other.


78 pages




Northern Illinois University

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