The COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupted Both School Bullying and Cyberbullying
One-fifth of U.S. high school students report being bullied each year. We use internet search data for real-time tracking of bullying patterns as COVID-19 disrupted in-person schooling. We first show that, prepandemic, internet searches contain useful information about actual bullying behavior. We then show that searches for school bullying and cyberbullying dropped 30-35 percent as schools shifted to remote learning in spring 2020. The gradual return to in-person instruction starting in fall 2020 partially returns bullying searches to pre-pandemic levels. This rare positive effect may partly explain recent mixed evidence on the pandemic’s impact on students’ mental health and well-being.
For helpful comments and discussion, we thank seminar participants at Boston University, CALDER, IZA, the Norwegian School of Economics, UCL, and the Northeast Economics of Education Workshop. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Andrew Bacher-Hicks & Joshua Goodman & Jennifer Greif Green & Melissa K. Holt, 2022. "The COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupted Both School Bullying and Cyberbullying," American Economic Review: Insights, vol 4(3), pages 353-370. citation courtesy of