The Relationship Between Traditional and Cyber Bullying Victimization in Early Adolescence and Emotional Wellbeing: A Cross-Sectional, Population-Based Study

Sarah Halliday, Amanda Taylor, Deborah Turnbull, Tess Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the wealth of knowledge about the impact of bullying victimization, information gaps exist about how traditional and cyber bullying in early adolescence is associated with emotional wellbeing, namely, indicators of positive wellbeing. Therefore, this study investigated associations between different types of bullying victimization and positive and negative emotional wellbeing indicators, in addition to examining the prevalence of different types of bullying in conjunction with child, peer, and school factors. The study used data from an annual survey of student wellbeing conducted in South Australian schools. The sample comprised of 9019 grade 6 students aged 10–13 years (49.6% female). One-third of students experienced bullying victimization. Verbal bullying was most prevalent in this sample (24%), followed by social (21%), physical (10%), and cyberbullying (7%). Males were significantly more likely to experience physical and verbal bullying, and students living in more socioeconomically disadvantaged communities were significantly more likely to experience physical, verbal, social, and cyber bullying victimization. Additionally, all types of bullying victimization were significantly associated with lower scores on positive emotional wellbeing indicators (happiness, life satisfaction, and emotion regulation) and significantly higher scores on negative indicators (sadness and worries), all with small effect sizes after accounting for child-, peer-, and school-level factors. This research suggests that bullying is associated with both positive and negative aspects of emotional wellbeing, and both aspects of wellbeing are crucial to consider when developing school-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Bullying Prevention
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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