Cyberbullying and Internalizing Difficulties among Indigenous Adolescents in Canada: Beyond the Effect of Traditional Bullying

Abstract

Most research on bullying and cyberbullying has focused on dominant populations. In particular, inquiries into Indigenous adolescents’ involvement in bullying and cyberbullying are scarce. The present study examines the relationship between bullying and cyberbullying involvement and self-reported depression, anxiety, and stress among a sample of 170 Indigenous adolescents (54% female; M age = 15.2 years). Controlling for age and gender, the results of a series of hierarchical multiple regression models indicate that cyberbullying victimization uniquely contributes to self-reported anxiety and stress among Indigenous adolescents, beyond the contribution of traditional bullying victimization. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We use the term “Indigenous” to emphasize the shared histories and experiences—yet distinctiveness—of first peoples across Canada. When we cite research from others who have focused on a more specific group (e.g., First Nations, Native American), then we make that distinction.

  2. 2.

    Participants for the present study were selected from the pre-intervention surveys to ensure that program effects do not influence their perceptions of traditional bullying, cyberbullying, or emotional well-being.

  3. 3.

    Those participants who were of the age of majority provided written consent, in lieu of parental consent and assent.

  4. 4.

    PREVNet (the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) is a large collaboration among researchers, educators, and professionals working to prevent bullying. For a more detailed overview, see http://www.prevnet.ca/about

  5. 5.

    Preliminary analyses included a measure of socio-economic status (SES) as a third control variable; however, the 4-item measure used demonstrated poor internal reliability for the present sample (α = .363) and was thus excluded from further analyses. Nevertheless, the results were consistent with and without the SES measure.

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Correspondence to Ryan Broll.

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This project was supported by Health Canada’s Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund [6558–15-2014/7870109].

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Broll, R., Dunlop, C. & Crooks, C.V. Cyberbullying and Internalizing Difficulties among Indigenous Adolescents in Canada: Beyond the Effect of Traditional Bullying. Journ Child Adol Trauma 11, 71–79 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-017-0163-y

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Keywords

  • Cyberbullying
  • Internalizing difficulties
  • Indigenous
  • Canada