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J Sch Health. 2015 Sep;85(9):611-20. doi: 10.1111/josh.12290.

Trends in Cyberbullying and School Bullying Victimization in a Regional Census of High School Students, 2006-2012.

Author information

1
Education Development Center, Inc., 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. skschneider@edc.org.
2
Education Development Center, Inc., 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. lodonnell@edc.org.
3
Education Development Center, Inc., 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. esmith@edc.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Schools are increasingly being called upon to address cyberbullying and its consequences. This study compares cyberbullying and school bullying trends and examines help-seeking among cyberbullying victims.

METHODS:

We analyzed self-report data over 4 surveys (2006-2012) from more than 16,000 students in 17 MetroWest Boston high schools. Using generalized estimating equations, we examined school and cyberbullying victimization trends by sex, grade, and sexual orientation.

RESULTS:

From 2006 to 2012, cyberbullying increased from 15% to 21% (p < .001). In 2006, school bullying was 1.7 times higher than cyberbullying (26% versus 15%); by 2012, school bullying and cyberbullying were similar (23% versus 21%). Cyberbullying increased more among girls (17% to 27%; p < .001) than boys (12% to 15%; p < .001). There was no net increase in school bullying among girls (26% in 2006 and 2012) and a decrease among boys (25% to 18%; p < .001). Sexual minorities were more likely than heterosexuals to be bullied at school and online at every survey. Only 33% of cyberbullying victims told an adult; more victims told parents/non-school adults (29%) than school adults (17%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite decreases in school bullying, cyberbullying rose steadily, particularly among girls. Increased attention to sociodemographic differences in bullying could promote help-seeking and positive online behavior.

KEYWORDS:

adolescents; cyberbullying; help-seeking; school bullying

PMID:
26201758
DOI:
10.1111/josh.12290
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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