How Can I Help Teens Who Are Victims of Cyberbullying?

Mary E. Muscari, PhD, CPNP, APRN-BC

Disclosures

October 25, 2010

In This Article

Victims of Cyberbullies

The Second Youth Internet Safety Survey of 1500 Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 years noted that victims of cyberbullying are usually those youth who had borderline/clinically significant social problems and who were bullies, bullying others online or in other settings, including school.

Those who used the Internet for instant messaging, blogging, and chat rooms were more likely to be cyberbullied than those youth not engaging in such behaviors. Victims were also more likely to be older and female.[12] A national cross-sectional online survey of 1588 youth between the ages of 10 and 15 years old showed that cybervictims were more likely to report 2 or more detentions or suspensions and skipping school in the year prior to the survey, and were 8 times more likely than all other youth to concurrently report carrying a weapon to school in the 30 days prior to the survey.[13]

A disturbing trend is the victimization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth -- all 4 victims mentioned at the beginning of this article were gay or perceived by bullying peers to be gay. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) 2009 National School Climate Survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the year prior to the study, nearly two thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation, and nearly one third of LGBT students skipped at least 1 day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.[14] LGBT youth are particularly vulnerable to adverse outcomes related to bullying. They are more likely than their heterosexual peers to be threatened or injured at school, skip school because of feeling unsafe, be violently attacked requiring medical treatment, and witness violence, experience sexual and physical abuse, and experience suicidal ideation or attempt.[15]

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