Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size
A
A
A

Survey: 1 in 4 Teens Bullied at School

Students Who Are Subjected to School Bullying and Cyberbullying Report More Depression and Suicide Attempts
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 18, 2011 -- One in four high school students in a recent survey said they were victims of school bullying, and nearly 16% said they were victims of cyberbullying.

Researchers questioned more than 20,000 ninth- through 12th-graders in and around Boston in an effort to better understand the overlap between school bullying and cyberbullying and the potential impact of both.

Almost 16% of teens reported being victims of cyberbullying -- via the Internet, texting, or some other communication technology -- within the previous year; 26% reported being bullied at school during the same period.

Cyberbullying was more common among girls than boys, with 18% of girls and 13% of boys reporting being victims during the previous 12 months.

Bullying and Cyberbullying Common

It is not too surprising that girls tend to engage in cyberbullying more than traditional types of bullying, says Shari Kessel Schneider, MSPH, of the nonprofit research group Education Development Center, Inc.

"Studies show that girls tend to choose less confrontational bullying than boys, with social manipulation and exclusion more common," Schneider says.

Among the major findings from the survey:

  • 33% of gay, lesbian, and other non-heterosexually identified teens reported being victims of cyberbullying, compared to just under 15% of teens who identified themselves as heterosexual.
  • 47% of teens who reported being victims of both forms of bullying also reported having symptoms of depression, compared to 34% of those who reported being victims of cyberbullying only and 27% of those reporting being bullied only at school.
  • Victims of both forms of bullying were also most likely to report having attempted suicide, with 15% saying that they had tried to kill themselves, compared to 9%, 4%, and 2%, respectively, of teens who reported being cyberbully victims, school bully victims, or those who were not victims of bullying.

Cyberbullying victims also reported poorer school performance than students who were not victims, and less attachment to the school they attended.

The study was not designed to prove that bullying causes poor grades, depression, or suicide. But the strength of the association shows the need for school-based prevention efforts, Kessel Schneider says.

The survey, published in the Nov. 17 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, was funded by the independent philanthropy group MetroWest Health Foundation.

Today on WebMD

family walking on the beach
Slideshow
two boys in a swing
Article
 
mistakes_parents_make_with_toddlers_2.jpg
Article
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow