The Association of Cyber-Bullying and Adolescents in Religious and Secular Schools in Israel

Abstract

Internet usage during leisure time is a growing area of research, especially among adolescents. Our aim was to evaluate the association between Internet usage patterns of religious and secular adolescents, exposure to cyber-bullying, and psychosomatic symptoms in Israel. A cross-sectional study was carried out using questionnaires administered to 7166 students aged 11–17 (4223 secular; 2943 religious). Cyber-bullying was more common among secular students (11.4%) than religious students (8.4%). Multiple logistic regression predicting cyber-bullying showed significant results for boys, primary school age, Internet usage, bad moods, sleeping disorders, and dizziness. A comparison across school levels and between the education sectors did not show major differences in the probability to experience bullying. However, different characteristics played the role in explaining propensity to that experience. These findings can help to plan school-level oriented intervention programs to educate adolescents on prudent use of the Internet to combat the spread of cyber-bullying.

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This work was supported by the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Israeli Ministry of Education.

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Correspondence to Riki Tesler.

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The research protocol received approval from ethics committees of the Israeli Ministry of Education and Bar Ilan University.

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Tesler, R., Nissanholtz-Gannot, R., Zigdon, A. et al. The Association of Cyber-Bullying and Adolescents in Religious and Secular Schools in Israel. J Relig Health 58, 2095–2109 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-019-00938-z

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Keywords

  • Religious adolescents
  • Internet usage
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Psychosomatic symptoms