Offline victimization, psychological morbidity, and problematic online behavior among chinese secondary school students

Xiang Li, Daniel T.L. Shek, Esther Y.W. Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite the rise of child victimization in different societies, few researchers have exam-ined its consequences in terms of psychological morbidity (such as depression and anxiety) and problematic online behavior (such as Internet addiction and cyberbullying) in a single study. More-over, no study has investigated the role of psychological morbidity in mediating the impact of victimization on problematic online behavior (indexed by Internet addiction and cyberbullying) in a single model. Based on a survey of 2843 Chinese secondary students (49.3% male; Mage = 13.97) from six public secondary schools in Fujian, China, we found that experience of victimization was positively associated with depression and anxiety, as well as Internet addiction and cyberbullying. Depression mediated the links between victimization and both Internet addiction and cyberbullying, with the mediating effect on Internet addiction found to be stronger for girls. While anxiety did not mediate the association between victimization and cyberbullying, it mediated the relationship between victimization and Internet addiction in boys. These findings enrich our understanding of the negative outcomes of victimization, as well as directions for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9462
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Anxiety
  • Cyberbullying
  • Depression
  • Internet addiction
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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