PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Mental Health - Neurological Disorders - Non-Clinical Medicine - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology - Public Health and Epidemiology

Irregular Bedtime and Nocturnal Cellular Phone Usage as Risk Factors for Being Involved in Bullying: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Japanese Adolescents
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Author: Mamoru Tochigi et al.

by Mamoru Tochigi, Atsushi Nishida, Shinji Shimodera, Norihito Oshima, Ken Inoue, Yuji Okazaki, Tsukasa Sasaki


A number of studies have tried to identify risk factors for being involved in bullying in order to help developing preventive measures; however, to our knowledge, no study has investigated the effect of nocturnal lifestyle behavior such as sleep pattern or cellular phone usage. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between school bullying and sleep pattern or nocturnal cellular phone usage in adolescents. The effect of school size on school bullying was also examined.


Data from the cross-sectional survey of psychopathologies conducted for 19,436 Japanese students from 45 public junior high schools (7th–9th grade) and 28 senior high schools (10th–12th grade) were analyzed.


Bullying status was significantly associated with irregular bedtime (OR?=?1.23 and 1.41 for pure bullies and bully-victims, respectively) and e-mail exchange or calling after lights-out (OR?=?1.53 and 1.31 for pure bullies and bully-victims, respectively) after controlling domestic violence and substance usage. In addition, school size was significantly associated with the increased risk of bullying in junior high school students (OR?=?1.13 for bully-victims).


The present results suggested that sleep pattern and nocturnal cellular phone usage might be risk factors for being involved in school bullying in adolescents. Although further accumulation of data is needed, progressive trend towards nocturnal lifestyle and increasing usage of cellular phone might impair the well-being of adolescents. School-based interventions for lifestyle including sleep pattern and cellular phone usage may be encouraged to reduce school bullying.