Adolescence is often a period of turmoil. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased adolescents' difficulty due to mental health consequences that may affect their developmental milestones. This study constructed and empirically tested a theoretical model of three predictive factors (cyberbullying, abuse, and screen time) and stress as the mediating factor in adolescent non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Structural equation model (SEM) analysis was applied to investigate stress as a mediating factor in the relationship between adolescent NSSI and cyberbullying, abuse, and screen time. This cross-sectional study used a “crowdsourcing” sample collection method to recruit 464 adolescents aged 11–17 years who were administered a questionnaire comprising scales on cyberbullying, abuse, screen time, stress, and NSSI. All scales had construct reliabilities ranging from 0.759 to 0.958. SEM statistical analysis was performed using Lisrel version 8.8 (Scientific Software International, USA) for Windows (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA). The mean (± SD) age of the cohort was 14.61 ± 1.65 years, and consisted of 66.7% females. Secondary high school was the highest educational background (58%). The study found that cyberbullying and abuse were direct positive predictors (critical t-value for the path > 1.96; p < 0.05) of adolescent NSSI; however, screen time did not have any direct relationship. Furthermore, stress was a significant full mediating factor of screen time and a partial mediating factor of cyberbullying and abuse in the relationship with adolescent NSSI (critical t-value of the path = 5.27; p < 0.05). Cyberbullying, screen time, and abuse with the mediating effect of stress could explain 48% of the variance in adolescent NSSI (R2 = 0.48). Adolescent mental health prevention and promotion programs need to be redesigned during the current COVID-19 pandemic to manage their stress and minimize the mental health consequences of cyberbullying, abuse, and inappropriately increased screen time.
- non-suicidal self-injury
- screen time