School Bullying, Depression & Sleep Problems in Adolescents

School Bullying, Depression & Sleep Problems in Adolescents

A recent study in the Journal of Affective Disorders (2022) examined the longitudinal relationships between school bullying (bullying victimization and bullying perpetration), depressive symptoms and sleep problems among adolescents and to consider whether the direct pathways vary by gender.

Among girls, higher bullying perpetration at time 1 predicted fewer sleep problems and depressive symptoms at time 2, while bullying victimization significantly predicted poor quality of sleep and severe depressive symptoms.

Furthermore, sleep problems at time 1 positively predicted bullying perpetration and victimization at time 2 in boys but not in girls.

For both boys and girls, severe depressive symptoms significantly predicted more victimization and sleep problems, and sleep problems were positively associated with depressive symptoms.

School bullying, depression and sleep problems are interrelated across time and differ by gender. 

These results indicate that sleep problems are a key risk factor for future bullying among boys, and depression for both boys and girls.

Therefore, sleep behaviors should be targeted in bullying prevention and mental health promotion programs for adolescents.

Read the extended study abstract:
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