Social Epidemiology of Early Adolescent Cyberbullying in the United States


Nagata, J. M., Trompeter, N., Singh, G., Ganson, K. T., Testa, A., Jackson, D. B., … & Baker, F. C. (2022). Social epidemiology of early adolescent cyberbullying in the United States. Academic pediatrics, 22(8), 1287-1293.



To determine the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of cyberbullying victimization and perpetration among a racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse population-based sample of 11-12-year-old early adolescents.  


We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (Year 2; N = 9429). Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, country of birth, household income, parental education) and adolescent-reported cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.  


In the overall sample, lifetime prevalence of cyberbullying victimization was 9.6%, with 65.8% occurring in the past 12 months, while lifetime prevalence of cyberbullying perpetration was 1.1%, with 59.8% occurring in the past 12 months. Boys reported higher odds of cyberbullying perpetration (AOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.01-2.92) but lower odds of cyberbullying victimization (AOR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.94) than girls. Sexual minorities reported 2.83 higher odds of cyberbullying victimization (95% CI 1.69-4.75) than nonsexual minorities. Lower household income was associated with 1.64 (95% CI 1.34-2.00) higher odds of cyberbullying victimization than higher household income, however household income was not associated with cyberbullying perpetration. Total screen time, particularly on the internet and social media, was associated with both cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.  


Nearly one in 10 early adolescents reported cyberbullying victimization. Pediatricians, parents, teachers, and online platforms can provide education to support victims and prevent perpetration for early adolescents at the highest risk of cyberbullying. 

Read more from SRI