Research Impact Summary: Adolescents with disabilities are more likely to experience bullying behaviours than their non-disabled peers. Moreover, physical activity can be seen as a protective factor for bullying, and that maybe be influenced by the amount of screen time. Therefore, in this study of over 4000 adolescents in Israel, we aimed to study the associations between bullying with physical activity and sedentary behaviours and to examine the differences by disabilities. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study in Israel data was used for this analysis. Disabilities were measured through impairment groups of adolescents in 6th, 9th, 10th and 12th grade of Israel. As expected adolescents with disabilities reported more bullying than their non-disabled peers and this was reciprocal for bullying others and being bullied. There were also differences in experiences of bullying based on type of impairments, such that adolescents with mobility restrictions, such as use a wheelchair reported almost double that of being bullied than adolescents with visual impairments. In the multiple regression analyses, bullying was not associated with physical activity among adolescents with disabilities, but was for adolescents without disabilities. The hypothesis that physical activity and bullying were associated was only statistically significant among adolescents without disabilities and not with disabilities. The protectiveness from bullying through increased physical activity requires further investigation, particularly in studies including adolescents with disabilities.
Yeshayahu Hutzler, Riki Tesler, Kwok Ng, Sharon Barak, Hadas Kazula &
Yossi Harel-Fisch (2021) Physical activity, sedentary screen time and bullying behaviors: exploring differences between adolescents with and without disabilities, International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 26:1, 110-126, DOI: 10.1080/02673843.2021.1875852