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Online Bullying Mixed With In-Person Bullying Most Distressing, Study Says

Online Bullying Mixed with In-Person Bullying Most Distressing, Study Says

A study from researchers at the University of New Hampshire revealed that the combination of cyber bullying with face-to-face bullying is the most distressing to students. It also found that cyber bullying on its own could pose less of a threat to students' well-being than in person.

"The study, published ...by the American Psychological Association, found that youths were more distressed when bullied by peers in real life than through technology," according to Today.com.

But youths felt most distressed when bullied both online and in-person. "Compared to technology-only bullying, mixed incidents were more likely to involve people who knew embarrassing things about the victim, last for a month or longer and become violent," the article said.

A combination of both forms of bullying leaves the victim feeling like he or she has no escape, being harassed both in school and then at home over the internet.

"...youth reporting mixed episodes were more likely than those with in-person-only to feel very/extremely angry or like they could not trust people. They were also more likely than youth experiencing technology-only episodes to feel upset, afraid, worried, sad, and unsafe. The average total emotional impact score was lowest for technology-only incidents and highest for mixed incidents," the report said.

As for the percentages of students in the national sample reporting harassment, 34% claimed to be bullied in the past year. Of the 311 incidents described by the youth, 54 percent took place only in-person, 15 percent only through technology, and 31 percent were mixed," the report said.

In other words, the grave effects and the large percentages of mixed incidents indicate a need for looking further into the issue.

Lead author of the paper, Kimberly J. Mitchell, said "'It is these mixed episodes that appear to be the most distressing to youth... We believe that focusing on harassment incidents that involve both in-person and technology elements should be a priority for educators and prevention experts who are trying to identify and prevent the most serious and harmful bullying,'" the article said.

Read the full article here and the full report here. Comment your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/05/2015

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