Teenagers who experience cyberbullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep and depression, a study has found. Although research has examined the relationship between online bullying and depression, the study is one of few to explore the connection between cyber victimisation and sleep quality.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo in the US surveyed more than 800 adolescents for sleep quality, cyber aggression and depression. "Cyber victimisation on the internet and social media is a unique form of peer victimisation and an emerging mental health concern among teens who are digital natives," said Misol Kwon from the University at Buffalo.
"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," Kwon said.
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.