Research Article|Articles in Press

Associations of sleep problems with non-physical bullying perpetration and victimization among adolescents: A cross-lagged panel study

  • Ji-Kang Chen
    Department of Social Work, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
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  • Wen-Chi Wu
    Corresponding author. Wen-Chi Wu, Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, School of Education, National Taiwan Normal University. 162, Section 1, Heping E. Rd., Taipei City 106, Taiwan.
    Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, School of Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan
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Published:November 16, 2022DOI:



      The current study attempted to explore the possible temporal direction of the relationship between sleep problems and non-physical bullying perpetration as well as non-physical bullying victimization among adolescents.


      The study used a longitudinal panel survey design with a 6-month interval.


      A cluster random sampling method was conducted to recruit students from junior high schools in Northern Taiwan.


      Eight hundred twenty-two students (46.6% were boys) completed a survey at 2 waves.


      Adolescents reported their sleep problems, non-physical bullying perpetration, and non-physical bullying victimization in both waves.


      The results from cross-lagged panel models revealed that sleep problems at time 1 significantly predicted non-physical bullying victimization at time 2, but not in the opposite direction. In addition, non-physical bullying perpetration at time 1 significantly predicted sleep problems at time 2, but not in the opposite direction. No significant differences emerged between male and female adolescents in the cross-lagged model of sleep problems with non-physical bullying perpetration and non-physical bullying victimization.


      This study advances the literature by revealing that sleep problems may be a consequence, not a precursor, of adolescent non-physical bullying perpetration and a precursor, not a consequence, of non-physical bullying victimization. Intervention programs aimed at preventing adolescents from being non-physically bullied may consider improving their sleep quality. Reducing adolescents' non-physical bullying perpetration may also improve sleep quality along the way.


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