Cyberbullying Less Common Than It Seems

17% of kids bullied in past year: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2012 8:09 AM CDT
Cyberbullying Less Common Than It Seems
About 17% of kids have experienced cyberbullying, new research suggests.   (Shutterstock)

Given the number of headlines we see about cyberbullying, you might think the problem is a rampant one, but a new study indicates its reach is a little more modest. Years of studies examining slightly different questions about the phenomenon have resulted in findings that "vary dramatically," says a researcher. But new research shows about 17% of kids were victims of online bullying over the past year. And the bullying's effect varies depending on the power dynamic between children, USA Today reports.

If a bully was "bigger than you, had more friends, was more popular, or had more power than you in another way" then victims were "twice as likely to say they were really upset by it." A second study seeks solutions to the problem. Its conclusion: Keep an eye on your kids. "We know in criminology and sociology, the No. 1 predictor of any involvement in at-risk behavior is parental monitoring," says a psychologist who has studied bullying for 18 years. (More cyberbullying stories.)

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