Bullying has become a common phenomenon in cyberspace with nearly 72 per cent of teens reporting at least one incident of cyber bullying during the past year, says a new study.
Online bullying was associated with increased distress, as well as with in school bullying, with 85 per cent of respondents who reported at least one online incident also reporting being bullied in school.
Most of the bullied teens did not tell their parents about the online incidents. They felt the need to deal with the problem on their own and were fearful of parental restrictions on Internet use.
“Just as school-based bullying is considered a public health concern, online bullying should be recognized as an issue that needs attention,” wrote the authors.
“Because of the generation gap in electronic communication, however, parents and educators need to better understand both the positive and negative functions of teen online behaviour,” they added.
The study conducted by Jaana Juvonen, Ph.D., and Elisheva F. Gross, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, involved 1, 454 youth between the ages of 12 to 17.