Online bullying ups aggression in kids

New York, May 1 (IANS) Have you ever been bullied in school, college or social media? A new study shows that the combined effect of both face-to-face and cyber-bullying may increase the risk of aggressive behaviour in teenagers.

These teenagers were twice as likely to show aggressive behaviours themselves like verbal hostility, physical fighting and damaging property.

Teenagers who were victims of both face-to-face and cyber-bullying, representing three percent of the youth, were more than twice as likely as those experiencing just one form of bullying to engage in aggressive behaviours.

“Victims who had been subjected to multiple forms of peer aggression were at increasingly greater risk of showing aggressive behaviours themselves,” said senior author Andrew Adesman from Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

“These behaviours may involve retaliatory measures against their aggressors, acting aggressive in order to fend off future bullying attempts, or worse, learning by example and engaging in bullying of previously uninvolved peers,” Adesman added.

The team analysed adolescents between ages 10 and 17 on how they behaved after experiencing face-to-face bullying, cyber-bullying and both.

The results revealed that overall, 43 percent of the teens in the study reported having been the victim of face-to-face bullying, while seven percent reported that they experienced some form of cyber-bullying.

The teenagers who experienced both forms of victimisation, 38 percent showed aggressive behaviour, compared with 15 percent of those who were cyber-bullied and 4 percent of those were victims of face-to-face bullying.

“This phenomenon may lead to a vicious cycle whereby bullies create bullies out of those they victimize.”

The study was scheduled to be presented at the ongoing Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting in Baltimore in the US.

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