Adolescent bullying and sleep difficulties

Simon C. Hunter, Kevin Durkin, Jim Boyle, Josephine N. Booth, Susan Rasmussen

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26 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


This study evaluated whether adolescents who report having been bullied, being bullies, or report both being a bully and being bullied experience more sleep difficulties than children uninvolved in bullying. The study drew upon cognitive theories of insomnia, investigating whether the extent to which young people report worrying about bullying can moderate associations between victimization and sleep difficulties. Participants were 5420 adolescents who completed a self-report questionnaire. Pure Victims (OR = 1.72: 95% CI [1.07 – 2.75]), Pure Bullies (OR = 1.80: 95% CI [1.16 – 2.81]), and Bully-Victims (OR = 2.90: 95% CI [1.17 – 4.92]) were all more likely to experience sleep difficulties when compared to uninvolved young people. The extent to which young people reported worrying about being bullied did not moderate the links between victimization and sleep difficulties. In this way, bullying is clearly related to sleep difficulties among adolescents but the conceptual reach of the cognitive model of insomnia in this domain is questioned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-755
Number of pages16
JournalEurope's Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2014


  • sleep difficulty
  • insomnia
  • peer-victimization
  • bullying
  • worry
  • logistic regression


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