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One in seven children subjected to cyber bullying in last three months

One in 11 adolescents admitted to cyber bullying other people in the same time frame.

Image: cyber bullying image via Shutterstock

ONE IN SEVEN adolescents have been subjected to cyber bullying in the last three months, according to research due to be presented at a conference in Dublin later this week.

The data also found that one in 11 admit to cyber bullying other people in the same time frame. At the conference, Dr Stephen Minton, lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, will discuss the levels of cyber bullying and cyber-aggression, which appear similar in both boys and girls, particularly in young teenagers. The behaviour also tends to peak in adolescents who are around 13-years-old.

Gender differences are actually very small in terms of cyber-bullying. Exclusion-type bullying is always more prevalent among females than males, and the physical forms of bullying are always more prevalent among males than females, but in terms of cyber bullying, it is roughly even for most categories.

Most of the data relates to 13 to 16-year-olds and while Minton stressed it can’t be said with confidence whether children grow out of this, experience working with young people, teachers and parents would seem to suggest it is a difficulty most associated with the early teenage years.

Minton did comment that he feels certain social media sites have made “substantial improvements” but said others continue to allow cyber bullying “while affording the perpetrator relative anonymity”.

Many young people are unaware of what behaviour constitutes cyber bullying, he explained, calling on parents to monitor their children’s online activity, adding that recent cases of suicides linked to cyber-aggression demonstrate the potential consequences.

This research will be presented at the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology conference at Dublin Castle on Thursday and Friday.

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