Association Between Bully Victimization and Vaping Among Texas High School Students


      Bullying and vaping among adolescents in Texas is a major public health concern. Bully victimization has been associated with substance use in adolescents; however, research examining the association between bully victimization and vaping in adolescents is sparse. This study aims to examine the independent association between bully victimization and vaping among Texas high school students.


      Pooled data from the 2017 and 2019 Texas Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N=3,486) were analyzed in July 2020. Past-year bully victimization was categorized into 4 mutually exclusive groups: no bully victimization, school bully victimization only, cyberbully victimization only, and both school bully and cyberbully victimization. Current vape use was measured as a binary variable. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association.


      In the total sample, the past-year prevalence of school bully victimization only, cyberbully victimization only, and both school bully and cyberbully victimization was 8.3%, 4.6%, and 7.7%, respectively. Approximately 1 in 7 students (14.5%) reported vaping during the past 30 days. Female students who experienced both school bullying and cyberbullying had 68% greater odds of vaping than female students who did not experience bullying (AOR=1.68, 95% CI=1.02, 3.41). Bully victimization was not significantly associated with vaping in male students.


      Female Texas high school students who are victims of both school bullying and cyberbullying have a greater likelihood of vaping. Healthcare providers, school counselors, and educators should be aware of the association and sex differences that exist while developing intervention programs to address bullying and vaping in high school students.
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