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J Sch Health. 2014 Jul;84(7):429-34. doi: 10.1111/josh.12167.

Are students with asthma at increased risk for being a victim of bullying in school or cyberspace? Findings from the 2011 Florida youth risk behavior survey.

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Assistant Professor, (, University of Central Florida, 12201 Research Parkway, Suite 489, Orlando, FL 32826.



Adolescents with asthma are at risk for psychological and behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to determine whether high school students with asthma are at increased risk for bullying in school and cyberspace, and to explore the role of depressive symptoms in moderating this association.


A secondary data analysis was completed with the 2011 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Participant included a random sample of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who attended public high schools in Florida. Descriptive and inferential statistics were conducted using SPSS software.


We examined data from 6212 high school adolescents and found a significant relationship between current asthma and cyberbullying in adolescents. Of the sample diagnosed with asthma, 15.6% reported bullying and 17% cyberbullying (versus 10.2% and 11% of nonasthmatics). We further examined data using depressive symptoms as a mediating and moderating variable and found significance on all accounts.


Adolescents with asthma are at increased risk for being victims of bullying in school and cyberspace. Our findings suggest that adolescents with asthma who also report depressive symptoms are particularly at high risk for bullying than adolescents with asthma who did not report depressive symptoms. Efforts to increase education and decrease all types of bullying at the high school level for both students with and without asthma are warranted.


adolescents; asthma; bullying; depressive symptoms

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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