Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Physical Activity: A secondary data analysis examining the association between peer victimization and physical activity among adolescents Open Access

Dalmat, Deborah (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/cv43nx29r?locale=en


Introduction: Physical activity is necessary to promote good mental and physical health among adolescents. A variety of factors from any level within the Social Ecological Model can hinder adolescent physical activity. This analyses aims to examine the interpersonal-level influence of bullying on adolescent physical activity behavior.

Methods: This secondary data analysis used the 2011 New York State Youth Risk Behavior Survey data set. Age, sex, race, bullying victimization, and cyberbullying victimization were included in general linear models (GLM) in order to assess their bivariate association with physical activity. Multivariable GLM were then created to examine the relationship between victimization and physical activity when controlling for demographic variables. Further analyses examined the association within demographic subpopulations.

Results: Age (p=0.047), sex (p<0.001), race (p<0.001), and cyberbullying (p=0.02) proved significantly associated with physical activity in bivariate analyses and thus were included in a subsequent GLM; bullying was not significantly associated with physical activity (p=0.80) so was not included in the model. When controlling for demographic variables, cyberbullying victimization was marginally associated with decreased physical activity (p=0.15). Further examination of the relationship between cyberbullying and physical activity among demographic subpopulations found cyberbullying victimization significantly associated with lower physical activity among both males (p=0.005) and individuals self-identifying as white (p=0.03).

Conclusion: Results suggest there may be an association between cyberbullying victimization and decreased physical activity among a subset of adolescents perhaps due to differential risks and experiences with cyberbullying. Further research is necessary to examine the relationship between the different forms of bullying and physical activity behavior. Special attention should be paid to cyberbullying as research is limited. Future research should include not just victimized individuals but also those individuals that perpetrate bullying. Additionally, research should focus on subpopulations considered at high risk for bullying. There is a need to reduce the occurrence of bullying as it can negatively influence both physical and psychological health. Tertiary prevention, through programs for bullying victims, may also help reduce the deleterious effects of bullying.

Table of Contents


Literature Review...4

-Physical activity...4


-Social Ecological Model...6

-Violence and health...8

-Bullying and health...8

-Bullying and physical inactivity...11

-Cyberbullying: An emerging public health threat?...18

-Research Aims...21



-Data Collection and Processing Procedures...23






-Summary of findings...35

-Strengths and limitations...36

-Implications and recommendations for research and practice...37




About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Partnering Agencies
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files