How to Stop an E-Bully

Child bullying online can be stopped with a little help from adults

(RxWiki News) With the rise of technology use in young people comes the rise of e-bullying. Electronic bullying is a relatively new problem, but the number of cases is growing quickly.

Bullying today often occurs through social media, email, and online discussion or chats – these methods make it difficult for adults to intervene in, or even be aware of, the problem.

A new study states that children might be trying to take matters into their own hands, but ultimately it is the help of an adult that makes the difference. 

"Stand up to e-bullies."

John Fenaughty, PhD in the Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland conducted a study on the ways in which children attempt to resolve e-bullying.

Over 1500 students aged 12 to 19 answered a questionnaire on the topic of e-bullying. The questions asked how the students tried to stop electronic bullying and whether or not those attempts were successful.

The study found that over half of the students tried more than one strategy. The most commonly used strategy was ignoring the harasser.

Other commonly used strategies were confrontation and seeking social support. However, none of these three strategies were considered successful.

The strategy that had the greatest success involved seeking adult help, and having the adult respond in an effective way, meaning the adults intervened in the bullying on behalf of the child.

The researchers found that overall the most important factor in stopping electronic bullying was in the helpfulness of the adult, rather than in the strategies the children used on their own.


This study became available online August 14, in the Journal of Computers & Education. No conflicts of interest were found.

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Review Date: 
August 22, 2012