Cyberbullying involvement among students with ADHD: relation to loneliness, self-efficacy and social support

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cyberbullying is defined as an intentional online act via electronic media, to harm, embarrass and/or humiliate another person. As adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at a higher risk in being involved in bullying behaviour as perpetrators or victims, the main purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of their cyber experience and its impact on loneliness, perceived self-efficacy and social support. The study population included 140 adolescent students with ADHD taking part in general classes and 332 students without disabilities, all of whom completed four self-report questionnaires (cyberbullying, perceived feelings of loneliness, self-efficacy and social support). The findings show no significant differences between students with or without ADHD regarding the time spent on the net and their perceived usage expertise. Most participants with ADHD were familiar with the internet and spent a similar amount of time surfing as the adolescents without ADHD. Results revealed significant differences between the student groups (ADHD/Non-ADHD) and some of the social-emotional measures: students with ADHD who were cybervictims and students with ADHD who were cyberwitnesses reported on greater feelings of emotional loneliness and a lower belief in their social self-efficacy than the non-ADHD students. Furthermore, ADHD student cyberwitnesses also reported on feelings of greater social loneliness. Findings revealed that girls were significantly more often cybervictims than boys. However, boys reported on significantly more involvement as cyberperpetrators than girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-29
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
After receiving approval from the research Ethics Board in the Ministry of Education, the researchers requested oral approval for this study from the school principals. The classes were randomly selected. A letter was sent to all parents to obtain consent for their child to be involved in the study. After receiving the parents’ written approval, the students filled out the four questionnaires in their classes over a period of an hour in the presence of the teachers and the researcher. The students were requested not to write their name on the questionnaires in order to guarantee their anonymity.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • ADHD
  • cyberbullying
  • loneliness
  • self-efficacy
  • social support


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