study released last week shows that as bullying has moved beyond the schoolyard and on to Facebook pages, online chat groups and cell phone text messages, its victims are feeling more hopeless and depressed.
The study, by the National Institutes of Health and published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys of more than 7,000 American schoolchildren.
The results of the new report did not surprise some educators. Heather Applegate, supervisor of diagnostic and prevention services in Loudoun County public schools in Virginia said, “With cyber-bullying, you can’t get away from it. In order to get away, you have to stop using social networking or stop using your cell phone.”
The new study follows previous research by the same authors that showed cyber-bullying is most prevalent in middle school, from grades six to eight.
Boys were more likely to cyber-bully, and girls were more likely to be cyber-victims. But for those targeted by such behavior, the tendency toward depression was similar, regardless of sex.