Cyberbullying, Race/Ethnicity and Mental Health Outcomes: A Review of the Literature

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Cyberbullying, Race/Ethnicity and Mental Health Outcomes: A Review of the Literature

  • Lynne Edwards Department of Media and Communication Studies, Ursinus College, USA
  • April Edwards Kontostathis Department of Math and Computer Science, Ursinus College, USA
  • Christina Fisher Department of Psychology, Ursinus College, USA

Abstract  Cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon associated with the widespread adoption of various digital communication technologies, including the internet and mobile phones. As of 2013, nearly 20% of youths in grades 9–12 in the US reported being traditionally bullied in face-to-face encounters while almost 15% reported being cyberbullied (Kann et al., 2014). Bullying victimization is associated with a variety of behavioral and psychological effects, from becoming bullies themselves (i.e., bully-victims), to poor academic performance, depression and suicidal ideation (Nansel et al., 2001; Wang, Nansel, & Iannotti, 2011; Willard, 2007). Research on these phenomena has focused primarily on white youth, leaving a void in our understanding of how cyberbullying has affected youth of color. This narrative literature review addresses this oversight by providing an overview of recent cyberbullying research that focuses on Hispanic, Asian and black adolescents (k=15). We found that youth of color appear to be less likely to experience cyberbullying than white youth but they experience suicidal ideation and attempts at about the same rates when they do experience cyberbullying.

Keywords  bullying; cyberbullying, mental health; race; youth

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