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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2015 Feb;18(2):79-86. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0371.

Cyberbullying, depression, and problem alcohol use in female college students: a multisite study.

Author information

1
1 Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Washington Department of Pediatrics , Seattle, Washington.

Abstract

Cyberbullying and its effects have been studied largely in middle and high school students, but less is known about cyberbullying in college students. This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between involvement in cyberbullying and depression or problem alcohol use among college females. Two hundred and sixty-five female students from four colleges completed online surveys assessing involvement in cyberbullying behaviors. Participants also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to assess depressive symptoms and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to assess problem drinking. Logistic regression tested associations between involvement in cyberbullying and either depression or problem drinking. Results indicated that 27% of participants had experienced cyberbullying in college; 17.4% of all participants met the criteria for depression (PHQ-9 score ≥10), and 37.5% met the criteria for problem drinking (AUDIT score ≥8). Participants with any involvement in cyberbullying had increased odds of depression. Those involved in cyberbullying as bullies had increased odds of both depression and problem alcohol use. Bully/victims had increased odds of depression. The four most common cyberbullying behaviors were also associated with increased odds for depression, with the highest odds among those who had experienced unwanted sexual advances online or via text message. Findings indicate that future longitudinal study of cyberbullying and its effects into late adolescence and young adulthood could contribute to the prevention of associated comorbidities in this population.

PMID:
25684608
PMCID:
PMC4323024
DOI:
10.1089/cyber.2014.0371
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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