Mood and Suicidality among Cyberbullied Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study from Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Ya Ching Hsieh, Pratik Jain, Nikhila Veluri, Jatminderpal Bhela, Batool Sheikh, Fariha Bangash, Jayasudha Gude, Rashmi Subhedar, Michelle Zhang, Mansi Shah, Zeeshan Mansuri, Urvish Patel*, Kapil Kiran Aedma, Tapan Parikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is limited literature available showing the mental health burden among adolescents following cyberbullying. Objective: The aim was to evaluate the association between low mood and suicidality among cyberbullied adolescents. Method: A cross-sectional analysis of the data was performed among adolescents from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Responses from adolescents related to cyberbullying and suicidality were evaluated. Chi-square and mix-effect multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association of cyberbullying with sadness/hopelessness and suicide consideration, plan, and attempts. Results: Of a total of 8274 adolescents, 14.8% of adolescents faced cyberbullying past year. There was a higher prevalence of cyberbullying in youths aged 15, 16, and 17 years (25%, 26%, 23%, respectively), which included more females than males (68% vs. 32%; p < 0.0001). Caucasians (53%) had the highest number of responses to being cyberbullied compared to Hispanics (24%) or African Americans (11%; p < 0.0001). There was an increased prevalence of cyberbullied youths, feelings of sadness/hopelessness (59.6% vs. 25.8%), higher numbers considering suicide (40.4% vs. 13.2%), suicide plan (33.2% vs. 10.8%), and multiple suicidal attempts in comparison to non-cyberbullied (p < 0.0001). On regression analysis, cyberbullied adolescents had a 155% higher chance of feeling sad and hopeless [aOR = 2.55; 95%CI = 2.39–2.72] and considered suicide [aOR = 1.52 (1.39–1.66)] and suicide plan [aOR = 1.24 (1.13–1.36)]. Conclusion: In our Study, cyberbullying was associated with negative mental health outcomes. Further research is warranted to examine the impact of cyberbullying among adolescents and guiding the policies to mitigate the consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
  • YRBS
  • adolescent health
  • cyberbullying
  • depression
  • hopelessness
  • mental health
  • sadness
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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