News

Canadian Researchers Examine Link Between Cyberbullying and Teen Suicide

In evaluating 41 cases in which young people, allegedly the victims of cyberbullying, killed themselves, researchers at Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University have released a new report that sheds light on the apparent links between online harassment and teen suicide.

The report, released last week at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, explores the links between suicide and cyberbullying, with researchers examining data from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the cases, which involved 24 females and 17 males whose ages ranged from 13 to 18, researchers determined that in 78 percent of the incidents, the teens’ harassment wasn’t just limited to Internet attacks, as more than three-quarters of victims were allegedly bullied both online and at school. Only 17 percent of teens, researchers said, were reported to have experienced just online harassment prior to their suicides.

In more than half of incidents, researchers said teens had been bullied via social networking sites like Facebook, while more than a third had experienced harassment via text messages or video postings. In media reports, researchers said that only 12 percent of the cases involved homosexual teens, although an additional 12 percent of cases involved young people, whose sexual orientation was either heterosexual or unknown, that had experienced homophobic harassment from their peers.

Although not statistically significant, researchers noted that a disproportionate number of suicides occurred at the beginning of school semesters, with 15 percent of suicides occurring in September while an additional 12 percent occurred in January. In 32 percent of cases, teens were reported to have had mood disorders, and 15 percent of victims were said to have experienced symptoms of depression. According to researchers, about 37 percent of victims were reported to have been “acting normally” prior to their suicides.

“Given that adolescents are particularly susceptible to cyber bullying,” researchers conclude, “efforts should be directed toward reducing bullying activity, encouraging them to intervene positively when bullying occurs and reducing the attractiveness of social media for bullying activity, especially anonymity.”

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top