College students who face cybervictimization are more likely to suffer from depression than those subjected to traditional victimization, a study suggests.

The study’s participants included 267 college students aged 18-24 years, who were enrolled in an introductory psychology course at a large, public university in the United States. The researchers collected data on the students through surveys.

Traditional victimization and cybervictimization were significantly associated with depression, but “cybervictimization was a unique significant predictor of depression above and beyond traditional victimization,” according to Jaclyn E. Tennant and her colleagues. “Specifically, adding cybervictimization to a model that already contained traditional victimization accounted for a greater percentage of the variance in depression” within the sample.

The study also found that higher levels of social support were linked to lower levels of depression, but that social support was not “a buffer for the associations among cybervictimization or traditional victimization and depression.”

The researchers recommended that “the potential causal effects of cybervictimization on depression” be examined in longitudinal studies.

Read the full study in Computers in Human Behavior (doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.04.014).