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12 May 2013
Cyberbullying becoming more pervasive in high schools

Analyzing data from a survey of more than 15,000 public and private high school students, researchers found one-in-six high school students had been electronically bullied over the previous year. The findings have been presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington, DC.

This is the first time the bi-annual CDC survey of high school students asked whether they had been a victim of electronic bullying in the past 12 months, including through email, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites and texting. Also for the first time, the survey asked about how many hours students played video or computer games or used a computer for something that was not school work.

The key findings included:

  • One in six high school students (16 percent) reported being electronically bullied within the past 12 months.
  • Girls were more than twice as likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying as boys (22 percent vs. 11 percent).
  • Whites reported being the victim of cyberbullying more than twice as frequently as blacks.
  • One-third of high school students reported spending three or more hours daily playing video games or using a computer for something other than school.
  • Boys were more likely than girls to report playing for more than three hours a day (35 percent vs. 27 percent).

"Electronic bullying is a very real yet silent danger that may be traumatizing children and teens without parental knowledge and has the potential to lead to devastating consequences," the researchers noted. "As technology continues to advance and computers become that much more accessible, cyberbullying will continue to grow as a hurtful weapon against kids and teens."

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Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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