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Study Finds Family Dinners Help Kids Cope with Cyberbullying

Study Finds Family Dinners Help Kids Cope with Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a serious issue in schools all around the country, but there may be a way to curb it. A recent study shows that sitting down for family dinners can help kids cope with cyberbullying, and can also help students bring the issue to light. 

Researchers found that regular family dinners as well as students talking with their parents in other settings, help kids cope with online bullying, according to a recent Reuters article. 

"[Online bullying is] hard for teachers and parents to pick up on," lead author Frank J. Elgar of the Institute for Health and Social Policy, said in the article. "In a way, cyberbullying is more insidious because it's so hard to detect."

Elgar and his team used voluntary, anonymous survey data from more than 18,000 teens at 49 schools in Wisconsin, the article said. About one in five students said they have been cyberbullied. Cyberbullying, however, was common for girls more so than boys and more common in those who have experienced face-to-face bullying. 

Those who experienced cyberbullying were more likely to report mental health problems like anxiety, self-harm, thoughs of suicide, fighting, vandalism, and substance abuse problems. As the number of family dinner increase, the difference in these mental health issues can be astronimical. 

“The more contact and communication you have with young people, the more opportunities they have to express problems they have and discuss coping strategies,” Elgar said. “Essentially the relationships between victimization and all other mental health outcomes were lessened with more frequent family dinners.”

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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