A new Australian study reporting on bullying and cyberbullying has found that nearly 1/2 of students in Years 6 to 12 were either bullied, cyberbullied or had bullied others.
- 30% of children in the survey reported being bullied in the traditional sense and 15% reported being cyberbullied.
- About 12% of students admitted to face-to-face bullying and about 8% admitted to cyberbullying.
Professor Marilyn Campbell who will be presenting her findings at an upcoming symposium for Youth Violence and School Bullying says the most concerning part of the findings were the high number of children who claimed that what they were doing did not affect their victims. Of the 8% who admitted to cyberbullying, 75% answered in the survey that their behavior did not have an impact on anybody. Fewer than half believed that what they were doing could be seen as harsh. Professor Campbell added that it was unknown whether the children truly believed what they’d answered or whether it was just denial to avoid trouble. While the bullying children may think that they aren’t doing much harm, the study also found that both bullies and their victims suffered from higher rates of anxiety and depression than children not involved in bullying.
It says to me these kids need help. Of course we have got to look after the victims but we also have to look after kids who cyberbully they need help with their mental health … as well as their social difficulties.
Professor Campbell’s research will be released shortly after the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence on March 16th. For more information about talking out and preventing bullying go to Bullying. No Way! or Cybersmart.gov.au