Does Religion Buffer Against the Detrimental Effect of Cyberbullying Victimization on Adults' Health and Well-Being? Evidence from the 2014 Canadian General Social Survey

J Interpers Violence. 2022 Nov;37(21-22):NP19983-NP20011. doi: 10.1177/08862605211050092. Epub 2021 Nov 22.


While prior research has well-documented the detrimental effect of cyberbullying victimization on health and well-being among children and adolescents, less is known about whether the same adverse pattern can be observed among adults. Moreover, it is unclear about what psychosocial resources might moderate this association. The present study uses a nationally representative cross-sectional survey-2014 Canadian General Social Survey (N = 17,548)-to examine three research questions. First, is cyberbullying victimization associated with adults' self-rated health, mental health, and life satisfaction? Second, how does religiosity-religious service attendance and religious beliefs-moderate this association? Third, do any observed patterns further differ for men and women? Through a series of logistic and ordinary least squares regression models, the results show that adults who experienced cyberbullying victimization in the past 5 years are more likely to report poor self-rated health and mental health compared to those who did not experience cyberbullying victimization in the past 5 years. Likewise, cyberbullying victimization is also associated with lower levels of life satisfaction. In addition, the adverse associations of cyberbullying victimization in the past 5 years with self-rated health and life satisfaction are weaker among those who attended religious service at least once a week in the past twelve months. A similar pattern is observed for the buffering effect of viewing religious beliefs as very important in the adverse association of cyberbullying victimization in the past 5 years with self-rated life satisfaction. There is also evidence suggesting the gendered buffering effect of the importance of religious beliefs in the association between cyberbullying victimization and self-rated health. This study makes important empirical and theoretical contributions to the growing field of research on the association between cyberbullying victimization and health and well-being and to our understanding of how religion matters to individuals dealing with stressful experiences.

Keywords: Canada; cyberbullying victimization; religious beliefs; religious service attendance; self-rated health; self-rated life satisfaction; self-rated mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bullying*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Crime Victims* / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cyberbullying* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Religion