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01-05-2013 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2013

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2013

Cyber Bullying and Internalizing Difficulties: Above and Beyond the Impact of Traditional Forms of Bullying

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2013
Rina A. Bonanno, Shelley Hymel
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The research reported herein was completed as part of the doctoral research of the first author. Portions of this research were presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, Quebec, March, 2011.


Although recent research has demonstrated significant links between involvement in cyber bullying and various internalizing difficulties, there exists debate as to whether these links are independent of involvement in more traditional forms of bullying. The present study systematically examined the association between involvement in cyber bullying, as either a victim or a bully, and both depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation. Self-report data were collected from 399 (57 % female) Canadian adolescents in grades 8–10 (mean age = 14.2 years, SD = .91 years). Results indicated that involvement in cyber bullying, as either a victim or a bully, uniquely contributed to the prediction of both depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation, over and above the contribution of involvement in traditional forms of bullying (physical, verbal, relational). Given the ever increasing rate of accessibility to technology in both schools and homes, these finding underscore the importance of addressing cyber bullying, with respect to both research and intervention, as a unique phenomenon with equally unique challenges for students, parents, school administrators and researchers alike.

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