Cyberbullying is associated with an increase in eating disorder symptoms in U.S. teenagers.

A recent Pew survey of U.S. teens found that nearly half of all respondents were victims of cyberbullying, where technology is used to cause harm or pain. Troublingly, studies are now linking cyberbullying to the development of psychiatric conditions in children and teens. In a recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers gathered data from more than 11,000 children across the U.S. to study the association between cyberbullying and eating disorder symptoms. The results showed that cyberbullying was significantly associated with all of the assessed eating disorder symptoms, including distress with binge eating and worry about weight gain. Interestingly, cyberbullying perpetrators were also more prone to eating disorder symptoms, including low self-worth tied to weight.
With the ubiquity of computers and cell phones, teens are more in danger of developing anxiety, depression, or eating disorders than ever before. CalPsychiatry child and adolescent psychiatrists like Kate Kinasz, M.D. can help. If your child or teen is beginning to show signs of disordered eating, anxiety, or depression, reach out today and book a free consultation with one of our psychiatrists.

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