Victims of online bullying may be more likely to be depressed

A study released on Sept. 21 shows that as bullying has moved beyond the schoolyard and on to Facebook pages, online chat groups and cell phone text messages, its victims are feeling more hopeless and depressed, the Washington Post reports. “Traditional bullying is more face-to-face,” said Ronald J. Iannotti, principal investigator for the study, published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. It says that students targeted by cyber-bullies, who may not always identify themselves, “may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack.” The study, by the National Institutes of Health, is based on surveys of more than 7,000 American schoolchildren. It offers a troubling portrait of the latest incarnation of an eternal problem. But researchers also say that traditional bullying and cyber-bullying are not necessarily distinct events and that one often flows into the other…

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Laura Ascione
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