Teenage victims of cyber bullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep, which in turn worsens depression, a study has found. Although research has examined the relationship between online bullying and depression, the University at Buffalo study is one of the few to explore the connection between cyber victimization and sleep quality.
The study surveyed more than 800 adolescents for sleep quality, cyber aggression and depression, according to Science Daily.
The research will be presented by Misol Kwon, first author and doctoral student in the UB School of Nursing, at SLEEP 2019, the 33rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in San Antonio, Texas from June 8-12.
"Cyber victimization on the internet and social media is a unique form of peer victimization and an emerging mental health concern among teens who are digital natives," said Kwon. "Understanding these associations supports the need to provide sleep hygiene education and risk prevention and interventions to mistreated kids who show signs and symptoms of depression."
Nearly 15 percent of U.S. high school students report being bullied electronically, says Kwon. At severe levels, depression may lead to disrupted school performance, harmed relationships or suicide.
The risks of allowing depression to worsen highlight the need for researchers and clinicians to understand and target sleep quality and other risk factors that have the potential to exacerbate the disorder.