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Youth Bias-Based Victimization: Comparing Online Only, In-Person Only, and Mixed Online/In-Person Incidents

NCJ Number
International Journal of Bullying Prevention Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published

This article aims to fill a research gap by presenting data on youth bias-based bullying incidents, comparing incidents that occurred solely online, solely in-person, or both online and in-person, with the goal of determining differences in characteristics, frequency, and impacts of the three types of incidents.


While research knowledge of bias-based bullying is increasing, there has only been limited research comparing in-person with online bias-based victimization incidents. This article presents data on 521 bias-based incidents experienced by a large sample of youth (n = 854), 13 to 21 years old, examining differences between incidents that occurred solely online, solely in-person, or both online and in-person. Specifically, the authors examined whether the three types of incidents differed by: respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, any disability, sexual orientation); incident-level characteristics (i.e., victimization type, perpetrator relationship, number of perpetrators, physical injury, any weapon used, duration of the incident, location of the incident, and disclosure); and negative impact (emotional distress, school-related problems, and physical symptoms). Results indicated that online-only bias-based victimization incidents occurred less frequently, and impacted victims less negatively, than either in-person only or combined online/in-person bias victimization. Incidents that were a mix of online and in-person bias-based victimization were the most distressing type of incident for youth, even controlling for other aggravating features (e.g., the number of perpetrators). Findings highlight the importance of asking vulnerable youth about the context of bias-based victimization they may have experienced and suggest that prevention initiatives will need to incorporate strategies to address the different environments in which bias-based victimization incidents occur. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023