Cyber-rumor and internalizing symptoms in adolescence: mediating effect of resilience

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Ana Bravo
Francisco Córdoba-Alcaide
Rosario Ortega-Ruiz
Eva Romera


Digital media have acquired a key role in the social dynamics among adolescents, increasing the prevalence of risk behaviors such as cyberbullying. Although its study has increased in recent decades, there are still few studies focused on the effects of a specific type of cybervictimization, such as cyber-rumor. The aims of this study were first to examine whether victims of cyber-rumor have higher levels of internalizing symptoms and second to explore whether resilience mediates this association, controlling for the sex effect. A total of 558 students (54.3% girls) aged between 13 and 17 years old (M = 14.65; SD = 1.19) participated in the study. Data processing followed a mediation model through PROCESS. The results evidenced that both girls and cyber-rumor victims presented higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress. The mediation models showed that resilience only mediated the effect that being victim of cyber-rumor had on levels of depression and anxiety, but not on stress levels. Sex was not found to moderate such effects. In conclusion, these results underscore the importance of attending to cyberaggression phenomena given their effects on social and emotional well-being identified in this study. This suggests the need to design prevention programs that include among their strategies the promotion of skills for coping with cyber-rumor.


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Bravo, A., Córdoba-Alcaide , F. ., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & Romera, E. (2022). Cyber-rumor and internalizing symptoms in adolescence: mediating effect of resilience. Psychology, Society & Education, 14(1), 13–21.


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