Beyond Sticks and Stones

Cyber bullying affects more than 25 percent of teens

(RxWiki News) Between 25 percent and 29 percent of all teenagers have been bullied via their cell phone or the Internet during the past year.

The finding arrives from a new study by the University of Valencia based on information from surveys submitted by 2,101 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17. A total of 1,098 respondents were boys and 1,003 were girls.

This so-called cyber bullying lasts for a month or less, typically. A "small, but significant" percentage of teenagers had been subjected to moderate bullying (less than one attack per week) and severe-intensity bullying (more than one attack per week) over the course of more than three months. Some 4 percent reported being bullied between three and six months, and 3 percent said they had been bullied for longer than one year.

Girls suffered more than boys, according to the survey results.

Cyber bullying can take many forms, usually resulting in attacks made via texting and over e-mail, instant messaging and social networking sites. Verbal abuse, invasions of privacy, rumor-spreading and social exclusion are just a few of the forms cyber bullying can take.

"Technology is taking on ever greater importance in daily life," said Sofía Buelga, co-author of the study and a researcher at the UV. "This is why we need measures to teach people how to use it responsibly and positively."

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Review Date: 
December 15, 2010