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Correlation of Minority Status, Cyberbullying, and Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Study of 1031 Adolescents

Abstract

Adolescent cyberbullying is increasingly prevalent. Depression and suicidal ideation are also common, particularly among minority adolescents and cyberbullied adolescents. Little data exists to establish whether minority cyberbullied adolescents are at greater risk of negative mental health outcomes associated with cyberbullying. This cross-sectional study of 1031 adolescents presenting to an emergency room examines the prevalence of cyberbullying in minority and non-minority populations. Using logistic regression, we compared mental health symptoms between minority and non-minority cyberbullying-involved adolescents (accounting for demographic factors), and examined the correlation between use of multiple forms of online technology, minority status, and prevalence of cyberbullying. Sexual orientation was the only demographic factor to strongly correlate with cyberbullying involvement or to correlate with negative mental health symptoms. Increased use of social media platforms also correlated with cyberbullying involvement. This analysis provides a baseline for future work around targeted cyberbullying interventions for minority adolescent populations.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health K23 MH095866 and R21 HD088739.

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Correspondence to Megan L. Ranney.

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Duarte, C., Pittman, S.K., Thorsen, M.M. et al. Correlation of Minority Status, Cyberbullying, and Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Study of 1031 Adolescents. Journ Child Adol Trauma 11, 39–48 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-018-0201-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-018-0201-4

Keywords

  • Cyberbullying
  • Adolescent
  • Demographics
  • Social media
  • Mental health