Background: Research has shown that cyberbullying victimization is associated with short sleep duration among adolescents; however, the association between cyberbullying perpetration and sleep duration is unclear. Furthermore, little is known about the factors that could moderate these associations. Thus, the objectives of this study were to investigate the associations of cyberbullying victimization, perpetration, or both with short sleep duration among adolescents, and to test whether age, sex, and adherence to the screen time recommendations (≤2 hours/day) moderate these associations.
Methods: Data on 6834 adolescents aged 11-20 years were derived from a representative cross-sectional study of middle and high school students across Ontario, Canada. Short sleep duration was self-reported and defined as sleeping less than the age-appropriate sleep duration recommendations. Multivariable logistic regression models were adjusted for important covariates. Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.
Results: Cyberbullying victimization (AOR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.37-1.86), perpetration (AOR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.16-1.79), or both perpetration and victimization (AOR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.27-2.30) was associated with greater odds of short sleep duration. Results further indicated that younger students who were not cyberbullied had a lower probability of short sleep duration, but there was no difference in the probability of short sleep duration between being cyberbullied or not among older adolescents. Sex and screen time did not moderate any of the associations between cyberbullying involvement and short sleep duration.
Conclusion: Involvement in cyberbullying as either a victim, a perpetrator, or both is associated with short sleep duration among adolescents. Strategies that can help to eliminate cyberbullying are needed in public health.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute