US Researchers Dispel Myths About Cyberbullying

A lot has been written about cyberbullying and I’ve seen some articles claiming that cyberbullying is more prevalent and more severe than in-person bullying. Some even refer to it as an “epidemic.”But, in a presentation at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) conference in Washington last week, a leading researcher on youth risk reported that the popular belief is actually a misconception. Compared to that bullying that takes place at school and other in-person venues, online bullying is both less prevalent and less distressing.Michele Ybarra, president of the Center for Innovative Public Health, says 17 percent of youth have reported online bullying compared to 39 percent who have experienced it “in person.” Ten percent have been bullied by phone, according to Ybarra, while 14 percent have experienced bullying via text messaging.

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