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Cyberbullying

What is Cyberbullying?

  • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
  • Posting sensitive, private information about another person
  • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad
  • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group
Source: Cyberbullying, Stop Bullying Now! (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Technology, Social Media, and More

 

What Happens to Children Who are Bullied?

Possible Short-Term Effects:

Possible Long-Term Effects:

  • High rates of depression
  • Social anxiety
  • Pathological perfectionism
  • Greater neuroticism in adulthood
  • Childhood bullying is a highly memorable experience and recollections of these events show no evidence of forgetting
Source: What Happens Over Time to Those Who Bully and Those Who are Victimized? Patricia McDougall, PhD, Tracy Vaillancourt, PhD & Shelley Hymel, PhD

How is Cyberbullying Different from Face-to-Face Bullying

  • The victim has no place to hide; the bully can target them anytime and anyplace.
  • Cyberbullying can involve a very wide audience (e.g. through the circulation of video clips on the internet), although the bully may not be aware of their reactions.
  • The bully is relatively protected by the anonymity of electronic forms of contact, which acts as a safeguard against retaliation or sanctions.
  • As with some indirect traditional bullying, the cyberbully does not usually see the response of the victim, changing the satisfactions or inhibitions normally generated by this.
  • Adolescents who tended to spend more time online tended also to report that they cyberbullied or were themselves cyberbullied more frequently.
Source: Research on Cyberbullying: Key Findings and Practical Implications, Neil Tippett, Fran Thompson and Peter K Smith

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Is my child cyberbullied?

Possible warning signs

  • Avoids the computer, cell phone, and other technological devices or appears stressed when receiving an e-mail, instant message, or text
  • Withdraws from family and friends, or acts reluctant to attend school and social events
  • Avoids conversations about computer use
  • Exhibits signs of low self-esteem including depression and/or fear
  • Grades begin to decline
  • Lack of eating or sleeping
Source: Cyberbullying, Stop Bullying Now! (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)