School bullying (e.g., name calling, physical threats) is a significant social and health concern associated with maladaptive mental health and academic outcomes (e.g., Juvonen, Graham, &Schuster, 2003;Juvonen, Wang, &Espinoza, 2011). With the growing use of electronic communication tools among adolescents, bullying encounters are no longer limited to the school grounds but are becoming increasingly more common online (i.e., via electronic communication), before and after school. Both school bullying and cyberbullying experiences are considerable sources of stress in adolescent's everyday lives and as such, these incidents are a significant public health concern. Due to the rapid increase of online communication use and as cyberbullying rates are escalating, it is important to examine the ways in which cyberbullying may (or may not) differ from school bullying. Two studies will examine the everyday school bullying and cyberbullying experiences of urban, Latino adolescents. Existing research on cyberbullying has predominately focused on White youth, thus, little is known about cyberbullying among ethnic minority youth. Yet, the gap in Internet use between Latino and White adolescents in particular, has declined considerably and Latinos are now more likely to connect online wirelessly (Livingston, Parker, &Fox, 2009). Moreover, given that Latino teens are at elevated risk of mental health problems such as depression and of performing poorly in school (e.g., Joiner et al., 2001, Kohler &Lazarin, 2007), it is important to know whether these negative peer experiences increase their risk for mental health and school problems. The proposed research will rely on daily diary methods that are rarely used in school bullying research and that remain unused in cyberbullying research. Daily methodology is described as a useful tool for "capturing life as it is lived" (Bolger, Davis, &Rafaeli, 2003) and allows for the examination of both individual-level and daily-level associations. The two studies will specifically test whether school bullying and cyberbullying experiences are related to mental health problems and compromised school adjustment. In addition, given that little is known about cyberbullying, this study aims to identify possible mediating and moderating mechanisms and will probe more deeply into specific conditions in which cyberbullying may be particularly consequential. A research training program has been designed that includes coursework (e.g., advanced multilevel modeling, mental health disparities, ethical research conduct), attendance of seminars and scientific conferences (e.g., American Public Health Association), individualized meetings with my co-Sponsors who are leading experts in bullying research and daily diary methods and unique opportunities such as attending quantitative training programs. This training program will ensure that the goals of the proposed research are executed successfully and in a timely manner.

Public Health Relevance

Bullying incidents are a growing problem that adolescents are faced with both at school and online. School bullying and cyberbullying (i.e., bullying that occurs via electronic communication tools) experiences are a considerable source of stress in adolescents'everyday lives and as such, these incidents are a significant public health concern. The proposed research will extend past current research by examining how daily experiences with school bullying and cyberbullying are associated with Latino adolescent's mental health and school adjustment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F16-B (20))
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Maholmes, Valerie
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Los Angeles
United States
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