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Teen Bullying Study Reveals Troubling, Even Potentially Violent Possibilities

[profileleft]Teen Bullying[/profileleft]Bullying is a problem that has come to the forefront of the minds of many professionals who work with young people in recent years.  What used to be something that was just seen as a ‘normal’ part of growing up in the United States is now properly recognized as a serious situation when it occurs.  As such, researchers from across the globe have been putting in time in an effort to learn more about bullying in hopes of someday eradicating it.  However, it seems that the more we learn the more we realize how prevalent and problematic this issue is for people.  A recent study on teen bullying in particular uncovered some troubling information regarding cyberbullying and other bullying that extends to the point of threatening extreme violence.  The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys will continue to work to raise awareness with regards to this issue.

About the Teen Bullying Study

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire collaborated on the study.  Those who would like to review the data uncovered in totality can find it here.  The researchers asked 5,700 respondents between the ages of 12 and 17 to complete a survey.  741 of them did so.  The survey asked questions with regards to teen bullying, cyberbullying and several other issues.  Examples of information that the surveys revealed include:

  • 73 percent of students reported that they had been bullied at school at some point in their lives.
  • 44 percent stated that they had been bullied within the previous 30 days.
  • 20 percent of respondents stated that they had been threatened with a weapon at school.
  • 32 percent of students had bullied others during their lifetime while at school.
  • 12 percent of those who had bullied others had done so within the previous 30 days.

These data concern bullying in general, but the researchers also focused directly on cyberbullying and its effects on those who had endured it.

Cyberbullying Data Uncovered

In terms of cyberbullying, the researchers found the following:

  • More than one-third of respondents had experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime.
  • 17 percent of respondents had been cyberbullied within the previous 30 days.
  • 80 percent of those who had been cyberbullied reported having mean comments posted about them on the Internet.
  • More than two-thirds of students reported having rumors spread about them online.
  • Almost two-thirds of those who had been cyberbullied stated that it negatively affected their academic performance.

Cyberbullying is a growing problem, as we have discussed recently.  This is especially true when one considers how many teens have incorporated technology into their daily lives.

Teen Bullying – Technology Use

Teens’ lives are intertwined with technology in ways that they never have been before, and that’s part of the reason that cyberbullying is a growing problem.  Below you’ll find 10 different data points from the study that helps explain why.  The following percentages of teens had used these forms of technology within one week of answering the survey:

  1. Cell phone – 96.5 percent
  2. Apps on a smartphone – 90.5 percent
  3. Sending text messages – 87.6 percent
  4. Took pictures with a cell phone – 87.6 percent
  5. Played online games – 74.7 percent
  6. Played console games – 71.8 percent
  7. Used Facebook – 71.3 percent
  8. Made use of the Internet for schoolwork – 70.5 percent
  9. Used a cell phone at school – 66.8 percent
  10. Used Instagram – 65 percent

We have reached a time where it is much more common for teens to make use of technology than for them not to do so.  While using technology provides for many advantages in terms of communication and information, it also increases the vulnerability to cyberbullying and other forms of potentially serious harm.

Teen Bullying – Types of Cyberbullying

The respondents also answered questions regarding whether or not they had engaged in cyberbullying during the previous 30 days.  The following percentages of respondents overall admitted to the following types of cyberbullying during that timeframe:

  1. Cyberbullying in general – 6.0 percent
  2. Posted hurtful comments about someone online – 7.1 percent
  3. Spread rumors about someone online or via email/text – 5.4 percent
  4. Posted a hurtful photo of someone online – 4.2 percent
  5. Pretended to be someone else online in a way that was hurtful – 4.1 percent
  6. Threatened to harm someone through a text message – 4.0 percent
  7. Threatened to hurt someone online – 4.0 percent
  8. Posted hurtful sexual comments about someone online – 4.0 percent
  9. Posting hurtful comments about someone’s race online – 3.8 percent
  10. Posted a hurtful video of someone online – 3.5 percent

Not only do these responses show that a large number of teens – 45 to be exact – admit to cyberbullying people within the previous 30 days, but the subsequent responses indicate that many teens do not necessarily consider the specific types of conduct mentioned cyberbullying.  53 students admitted to posting hurtful comments about someone online, which is eight more than those who admitted to cyberbullying within the previous 30 days.

How Children’s Rights Lawyers Can Help

There are several ways that people can make a difference with cyberbullying and teen bullying in general.  Parents need to get involved, even if they are convinced that their teens do not want them to do so.  We have discussed the potential problem of parental awareness when it comes to cyberbullying, and a lack of awareness can lead to avoidable negative results.  Adults overall also need to get involved, as bullying can and often does have long-term effects on people if it is not stopped when it’s discovered.

Finally, people need to keep fighting even if they are not getting the results they want or need when their child is being bullied in any manner whatsoever.  If your child is suffering from this conduct and school administrators or others responsible for your child’s safety are not acting appropriately, you need to take additional steps to protect your child.  You can do so by seeking the help of children’s rights lawyers who understand how to hold bullies and those who allow or enable them accountable.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

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