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Why online bullying can be just as harmful


Both off and online bullying can have a marked impact on young people, new research has found. Published in the International Criminal Justice Review, the study revealed children who are victimised via the internet or through their mobile phone are as likely as kids who are bullied in-person to miss school as a result.


Led by Thomas Holt, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, the investigation also showed children targeted by online bullies are just as prone to suicidal thoughts as those who are physically taunted.

Data from more than 3,000 students in Singapore were analysed by the researchers, who recommended policymakers take both on and offline experiences into consideration when coming up with anti-bullying procedures.

Mr Holt explained the system needs to discover ways “to develop school policies to combat bullying within the school environment and then figure out how to translate that to the home, because the risk goes beyond the schoolyard”.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Paul Naylor comments:

“This study makes an important contribution to the growing body of evidence from around the World, including the UK, that the impact on the recipients of on-line and mobile ‘phone bullying are similar to and as dangerous as those of traditional bullying. The challenge for for all of us who care about these dangers is reducing bullies’ opportunities for bullying and the negative effects on those who are bullied.”