Online Program

Electronic Bullying and School Absenteeism: Evidence from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Erin Grinshteyn, PhD, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV
Y. Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH, Department of Health Administration and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Purpose: This research examines the relationship between school absenteeism and electronic bullying, which has become increasingly common, especially among adolescents.

Methods: This multivariate, multinomial regression analysis used data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The dependent variable is how often students were absent in the last month due to feeling unsafe at school. The responses were categorized into four groups: zero days, one day, two to three days, and four or more days absent per month. The model included a number of control variables including demographic characteristics, physical and behavioral health outcomes, as well as certain risk factors. Data were multiply imputed to address missingness among indepent variables.

Results: Electronic bullying was significantly associated with missing days of school in all outcome categories. The relative risk for missing one day of school was 1.77 times higher for those who experienced electronic bullying in the past year than those who did not. The relative risk for missing two to three days of school per month increased significantly by a factor of 2.08. After controlling for all other covariates, the relative risk for missing four or more days of school per month increased significantly by a factor of 1.77.

Conclusion: Electronic bullying’s detrimental association with school absenteeism among high school students places it among already recognized negative influences, such as depression and binge drinking. This significant association should necessitate the development and implementation of policies and programs within schools in an effort to mediate the harmful effects of electronic bullying on students.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the association between electronic bullying and school absenteeism among high school students.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Youth Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher in the field of public health, health policy, and violence prevention. Electronic bullying is a form of violence that I have been researching with a colleague and we have worked on multiple projects related to this topic. In addition, much of my research has focused on adolescent populations, which this work also addresses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.