Cyberbullying on social media is linked to depression among teens, according to a new study that analysed past research on the matter.
Thirty-six studies on social media showed varying rates of cyberbullying ranging from 11 per cent to 43 per cent. The average stood at around 23 per cent, reported Reuters Health.
The researchers discovered a consistent link between depression and cyberbullying. However, the studies were confined to a single point in time, which means that the researchers cannot determine if the link persists over longer periods.
The lead author of the review, Michele Hamm of the University of Alberta in Canada, noted that some adolescents refrained from reporting the bullying they experienced online because they feared having their internet access revoked.
Hamm advises parents to encourage the safe use of social media among their teens instead of restricting access entirely.
Rachel Annunziato, a Fordham University assistant professor of clinical psychology, was quoted as saying the “best advice we can give parents is to frequently monitor their children’s Internet use.”
“We are in a position to spot and stop this behavior or help our children if they are recipients of cyberbullying. Another thing we can do is ask about cyberbullying. Our children may not realize that we are aware of this.”
Meanwhile, studies show that teens who experience regular bullying have double the risk of adult depression, and the effects of bullying can be as bad or even worse as child abuse.
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