A fresh look into some past research reveals a definite link between cyberbullying and depression, and verified that nearly a quarter of adolescents encounter cyberbullying in social media.
Researchers wrote in JAMA Pediatrics that while a majority of teens use the internet for entertainment and socializing, it provides an environment for repeated harrassment.
“Social media use is so common among kids and adolescents,” said Michele Hamm, the review’s lead author from the University of Alberta in Canada. “We wanted to look at if there are documented harms associated with its use.”
Hamm and her colleagues analyzed data from 36 studies of cyberbullying in the United States among middle and high school students.
An average of 23 percent of the participants reported cyberbullying. The rates varied among the studies from 11 percent to 43 percent.
There were no clear links between cyberbullying and anxiety or suicide, there was a consistent tie to depression. Relationships were the most common reason for cyberbullying and girls were more likely to be targets than boys.