Cyber and bias-based harassment: associations with academic, substance use, and mental health problems

J Adolesc Health. 2012 May;50(5):521-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.09.009. Epub 2012 Feb 4.


Purpose: To examine how two forms of interstudent harassment, cyber and bias-based harassment, are associated with academic, substance use, and mental health problems.

Methods: We used a population-based survey of 17,366 middle and high school students that assessed harassment due to race/ethnicity or sexual orientation, and harassment through the Internet or text messaging along with other forms of interstudent harassment.

Results: Odds ratios indicated that students experiencing both cyber and bias-based harassment were at the greatest risk for adjustment problems across all indicators, with suicidal ideation and attempts having the largest risk differences.

Conclusions: Assessments of adolescent health and adjustment should include questions regarding both cyber and bias-based harassment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Bias
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology*
  • Sexual Harassment / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Behavior*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Text Messaging