Gender-Specific Pathways between Face-to-Face and Cyber Bullying Victimization, Depressive Symptoms, and Academic Performance among U.S. Adolescents

Moses Okumu, Youn Kyoung Kim, Jane E. Sanders, Timothy Makubuya, Eusebius Small, Jun Sung Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This cross-sectional study employed a syndemic framework to investigate the relationships between face-to-face and cyberbullying victimization, depressive symptoms, academic performance, and gender (female and male) in a nationally representative sample of adolescents who completed the United States 2015 Youth Risk Behavior System Survey. Path analysis results showed that both face-to-face and cyberbullying victimization are associated with low academic performance. Further, depressive symptoms may facilitate declining academic performance for both female and male students. After using a syndemic framework to analyze the joint risk presented by bullying victimization and depression, structural equation modeling showed two different pathways for students who experienced both face-to-face and cyberbullying: (1) for female students, depression fully mediated the relationship between bullying victimization and low academic performance; (2) for male students, depression partially mediated the relationship between bullying victimization and low academic performance. These study findings highlight the need for innovative interventions to address bullying victimization, depression, and low academic performance. Specifically, school health educators, counselors, social workers, and school administrators should work together to initiate programs that address the synergistic nature of bullying through gender-sensitive multicomponent interventions, such as concurrently implementing comprehensive screening protocols and a bullying reporting system in their school system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2205-2223
Number of pages19
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.

Keywords

  • Academic performance
  • Cyberbullying
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Face-to-face bullying
  • Path analysis
  • Syndemic framework

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