Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a concern that cyberbullying incidents would increase as youth were spending more time online. Additionally, reports emerged that Asian American citizens were being disproportionately targeted due to the purported origination of the disease. The current study explores whether cyberbullying incidents increased among adolescents overall—and Asian American youth in particular—since the onset of the coronavirus.
Three unique national surveys of teens (aged 13–17, mean = 14.96) conducted in 2016 (N = 4742), 2019 (N = 4250), and 2021 (N = 2546) were analyzed to track experience over time with general cyberbullying, as well as cyberbullying based on race or color. Additionally, respondents were asked in 2021 whether they had been cyberbullied more or less since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More youth have experienced cyberbullying since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Asian American youth most likely to report increased victimization during the pandemic. For example, in 2021, 23.2% of youth reported experiencing cyberbullying compared to 17.2% in 2019 and 16.7% in 2016. Among Asian American youth, 23.5% said they were cyberbullied because of their race in 2021, compared to 7.4% in 2019 and 13.9% in 2016.
As more adolescents continue to spend more time online, cyberbullying victimization may increase across all racial groups. In the current politicized environment, Asian Americans may continue to be targeted because of their race. Schools and communities should augment existing implementations and pedagogy with more population-specific approaches that are culturally relevant, culturally sustaining, and that reflect the unique lived experiences of Asian American youth.
IMPLICATIONS AND CONTRIBUTION
The current study shows that mor(in press). Cyberbullying Among Asian American Youth Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. OnlineFirst in the Journal of School Health.e adolescents have experienced cyberbullying (both general and race-based) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in race-based victimization was highest among Asian American youth.
Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (in press). Cyberbullying Among Asian American Youth Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. OnlineFirst in the Journal of School Health.
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