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Adolescent cyberbullies and their victims may have physical, mental health problems
Date:7/5/2010

ent abdominal pain; sleeping difficulties and not feeling safe at school. Being a cyberbully only was associated with perceived difficulties in emotions, concentration, behavior, or getting along with other people; hyperactivity; conduct problems; infrequent helping behaviors; frequently smoking or getting drunk; headache and not feeling safe at school. Being both cyberbully and cybervictim was associated with all of these conditions.

"Of those who had been victimized, one in four reported that it had resulted in fear for their safety," the authors write. "The feeling of being unsafe is probably worse in cyberbullying compared with traditional bullying. Traditional bullying typically occurs on school grounds, so victims are safe at least within their homes. With cyberbullying, victims are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The results suggest that cyberbullying is an increasingly important type of harmful behavior, the authors note. "There is a need to create cyberenvironments and supervision that provide clear and consistent norms for healthy cyberbehavior. Clinicians working in child and adolescent health services should be aware that cyberbullying is potentially traumatizing," they conclude. "Policy makers, educators, parents and adolescents themselves should be aware of the potentially harmful effects of cyberbullying."


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Contact: Andre Sourander, M.D., Ph.D.
andre.sourander@utu.fi
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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