Young Victims of Cyberbullying Twice as Likely to Attempt Suicide and Self-Harm
Children and young people under-25 who become victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to enact self-harm and attempt suicide than non-victims.
While perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors, researchers say.
The study, which is a collaboration of a number of researchers from across the United Kingdom (UK) including the University of Birmingham, looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries, over a 21-year period.
The study also found a strong link between being a cyber-victim and a perpetrator. This duality was found to particularly put males at higher risk of depression and suicidal behaviors.
The researchers highlighted that these vulnerabilities should be recognized at school so that cyberbullying behaviors would be seen as an opportunity to support vulnerable young people, rather than for discipline. The study also found that students who were cyber-victimized were less likely to report and seek help than those victimized by more traditional means, highlighting the importance for staff in schools to encourage students are cyberbullied to seek help.