As Bullying Prevention Month draws to a close, educators, parents and students everywhere know that the challenge to stop the bullying continues every month of the year.
Stories continue to make headlines regarding bullying, cyberbullying and suicides in schools and communities across the country. According to a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in any class of 30 high school students, five of them have been victims of electronic bullying in the past year.
Researchers at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York analyzed data from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 15,425 public and private high school students. For the first time, the 2011 survey asked students whether they had been a victim of electronic bullying in the past 12 months, including through email, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites and texting. Results showed:
One in six high school students (16.2 percent) reported being electronically bullied within the past 12 months.
Girls were more than twice as likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying than boys (22.1 percent vs. 10.8 percent).
“Electronic bullying of high school students threatens the self-esteem, emotional well-being and social standing of youth at a very vulnerable stage of their development,” said study author Andrew Adesman, MD, FAAP, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, in a news release. “Although teenagers generally embrace being connected to the Web and each other 24/7, we must recognize that these new technologies carry with them the potential to traumatize youth in new and different ways.”