Cyber-Bullying Victims are at a Higher Risk

Posted on

Jun 7, 2013


Hi Everyone,

I missed my post last week but this is my chance to make it up a bit. There are a few new trends in problem behaviors that seem to be more damaging than others. One that is of particular interest to me, because of it’s relation to technology and social media, is Cyber Bullying.


The term seems a bit silly and may sound like a sci-fi android picking on your child, but in reality cyber-bullying can come in a multitude of different forms. Much of what goes on between children’s smartphones, which have full access to the Internet, and the many social sites is difficult to monitor for parents.


This study coming out of the University of Deusto in Spain, takes a look at some of the troubling behaviors that can stem from Cyber Bullying.

“A number of adolescents are both victims of cyberbullying and perpetrators of cyberbullying, but victims are at higher risk for psychological and behavior health problems, like substance abuse, after six months of bullying.”


Some of their statistical results:


“Gamez-Guadix and his colleagues surveyed eight hundred and forty-five students (498 girls and 337 boys) between the ages of 13 and 17 years-old.  They found that 24 percent had been a victim of one cyber-bullying behavior, such as someone sending a threatening or insulting message, 15.9 percent said they experienced two bullying behaviors and 8 percent were victimized by three cyber-bulling behaviors.”





Our own data from the Learning Environment Survey(LES), a survey of school climate and conditions for learning,  show that out of a population of 141,792 6th-8th graders, many less reported abuse than in Spain. On our LES survey we ask about cyber-bullying at school, and as you would expect, the occurrences are quite a bit less than cyber-bullying in general as reported in Spain.

This may be due to a number of different factors from how the question was worded all the way to how the study was conducted, via paper and pencil study, verbally, online etc.


Cyber-bullying can take many forms as we illustrate in our survey question. We combine the internet and cell phone mainly because so many of these devices are the youth’s preferred way of getting on the internet. Social media seems to be the preferred avenue of cyber-bullying, mainly because of the visibility that occurs among the child’s circle of friends.


Many parents are not as technologically adept as their children are in using these electronic devices and poverty does not decrease the instances. There even seems to be a trend that shows that most children including lower income families have these devices for their children. I’m not sure where I read this so I can’t provide a reference but I think it was in relation to “BYOT (bring your own technology)” classrooms here in Georgia. Here is one county with that program to give an example.

This also helps illustrate how many children have access to these devices, which is a lot.


All in all, because this trend is at the same time new (the technology) and old (bullying) it still represents a new challenge that parents and teachers have to be aware of and be willing to face head on.


If you would like further resources here are a few I came across.

Cyber-bullying research center



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