Cyber and Traditional Bullying Victimization as a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents
Rienke Bannink1, Suzanne Broeren1, Petra M. van de Looij – Jansen2, Frouwkje G. de Waart2, Hein Raat1*
1 Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2 Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam area, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Purpose: To examine whether traditional and cyber bullying victimization were associated with adolescent’s mental health problems and suicidal ideation at two-year follow-up. Gender differences were explored to determine whether bullying affects boys and girls differently. ...view middle of the document...
Conclusions: Traditional bullying victimization is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation, whereas traditional, as well as cyber bullying victimization is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems among girls. These findings stress the importance of programs aimed at reducing bullying behavior, especially because early-onset mental health problems may pose a risk for the development of psychiatric disorders in adulthood.
Citation: Bannink R, Broeren S, van de Looij – Jansen PM, de Waart FG, Raat H (2014) Cyber and Traditional Bullying Victimization as a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094026 Editor: Yinglin Xia, University of Rochester, United States of America Received October 1, 2013; Accepted March 9, 2014; Published April 9, 2014 Copyright: ß 2014 Bannink et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: The publication of this study was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). This funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. * E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent studies indicate that approximately 20–35% of adolescents report involvement in traditional, offline bullying either as a bully, a victim or both . Bullying can be defined as an aggressive act that is carried out by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself . Traditionally, four main types of bullying are distinguished: physical (e.g., assault), verbal (e.g., threats), relational (e.g., social exclusion) and indirect (e.g., spreading rumors) . With the increased use of Internet and mobile phones, a new form of bullying has emerged, often labeled ‘cyber bullying’ [3–5]. In cyber bullying, aggression occurs via electronic forms of contact . Increased exposure to the online environment has contributed to a heightened appreciation of the potential negative impact of
cyber bullying . Recent cross-sectional studies have shown an association between cyber bullying victimization and mental health problems, and even between cyber bullying victimization and suicide [4,6,8,9]. Despite evidence from these cross-sectional studies, little is known with regard to the longitudinal impact of cyber bullying. To the best of our knowledge, only SchultzeKrumbholz et al. studied the longitudinal association between cyber bullying victimization and mental health problems in a relatively small sample (N = 233). They only showed a significant association between cyber bullying victimization and...