The Relationship Between Youth Cyberbullying Behaviors and Their Perceptions of Parental Emotional Support

Laura Grunin, Gary Yu, Sally S. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of bullying among youth usually focus on those who are bullied. Understanding the factors that affect youth who exhibit bullying behaviors is equally important. Such knowledge can heighten effectiveness of prevention and interventions at the individual, family, school, and community levels. We performed a secondary data analysis using data from the 2009 to 2010 World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Health Behavior in School-Aged Children cross-sectional survey (n = 12,642), the most recent WHO data collected in the USA. Using latent class analysis, we clustered sample participants into categories of children who do not bully, bully with a low cyberbullying element, bully with a moderate cyberbullying element, and bully with a high cyberbullying element. We used multinomial logistic regression to explore the relationships between youth’s perception of certain family characteristics (e.g., parental emotional support and socio-demographic characteristics) and the odds ratios of falling into one of the four latent classes generated. Establishing if a relationship exists between youth’s perception of parental support factors and their bullying behavior can enhance understanding of variables that might modify adolescents’ bullying. Findings of this study point to the importance of parental emotional support as a factor that can affect adolescent cyberbullying behavior. This evidence is useful for parents, education and healthcare professionals, and others involved in young people’s lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Bullying Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Latent class analysis
  • Parental support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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