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There’s a tear in my beer: Bullying victimisation and young teenage drinking in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4396-4339
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6606-2157
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1679-3506
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Number of Authors: 52023 (English)In: Children and youth services review, ISSN 0190-7409, E-ISSN 1873-7765, Vol. 154, article id 107123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Victims of bullying are at an increased risk not only of developing adverse mental health, but also of engaging in health risk behaviours. One way in which adolescents may cope with the health-related consequences of bullying victimisation is through substance use such as alcohol and narcotics, as posited by the self-medication hypothesis. Indeed, previous research has found a link between traditional (face-to-face) bullying victimisation and alcohol use among adolescents, albeit with some inconsistencies. However, studies examining both traditional bullying and cyberbullying among youth often report an association only between cyberbullying victimisation and drinking. The current study seeks to add to this field of research by analysing the predictive capacity of traditional and cyberbullying victimisation for youth drinking whilst also adjusting for bullying perpetration and sociodemographic characteristics. In the analyses, we distinguished between occasional and frequent victimisation, and performed separate investigations of how specific types of traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimisation are related to youth drinking. Data were obtained from the Swedish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, with pooled cross-sectional information from 2013/14 and 2017/18 collected among 13- and 15-year-old students (n =7126). Any alcohol use and drunkenness during the past 30 days were used as dependent variables. The respondents were categorised as non-victims, occasional victims, and frequent victims of traditional and cyberbullying, respectively. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between bullying victimisation and youth drinking. The results showed that 21.2% of students reported that they had been bullied at least once or twice in the past months, either as victims of traditional bullying only (8.3%), cyberbullying only (7.8%), or both (5.1%). When both types of bullying victimisation were mutually adjusted for, only cyberbullying remained significantly associated with an increased risk of drinking. However, when specific types of face-to-face bullying victimisation were analysed, several statistically significant associations with youth drinking were found, even when controlling for cyberbullying victimisation. Associations with any alcohol use and drunkenness were overall very similar. To conclude, this study corroborates previous research which has shown youth drinking to be more consistently related with cyberbullying victimisation than with traditional bullying victimisation. The study also extends previous knowledge by showing that the association between traditional bullying victimisation and youth drinking differs depending on the operationalisation of victimisation. Future research might benefit from examining this more thoroughly. The findings highlight that interventions targeting bullying and its effects should consider both face-to-face and online victimisation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 154, article id 107123
Keywords [en]
Bullying, Cyberbullying, Victimization, Alcohol use, Drunkenness, Adolescents
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-220682DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2023.107123ISI: 001076258900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85170578317OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-220682DiVA, id: diva2:1794437
Available from: 2023-09-05 Created: 2023-09-05 Last updated: 2024-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Wahlström, JoakimModin, BitteSvensson, JohanBrolin Låftman, Sara

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Wahlström, JoakimModin, BitteSvensson, JohanBrolin Låftman, Sara
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Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)Department of Public Health SciencesCentre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD)
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Children and youth services review
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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