Teens And Cyberbullying

    June 28, 2007

Around one third (32%) of all U.S. teenagers who use the Internet say they have been harassed online in a variety of ways according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project report "Cyberbullying and Online Teens."

One in 6 teens (15%) said someone had forwarded or posted communication they wanted kept private, while 13 percent said someone had spread a rumor about them online and another 13 percent reported that someone had sent them a threatening or aggressive email, IM or text. Six percent of online teens said that someone had posted an unflattering picture of them without their consent.

The majority of teens, 67 percent said that bullying occurs more offline than online. Girls are more likely than boys to have experienced cyberbullying, 38 percent of online girls said they had been bullied, compared with 26 percent of online boys. Forty-one percent of older teen girls ages 15 to 17 said they had been bullied online.

Teens who use social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and teens that use the Internet daily are more likely to say they have been cyberbullied. Thirty-nine percent of social network users have been cyberbullied in some form, compared with 22 percent of online teens that are not users of social networks.

Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report said," Bullying has entered the digital age. The impulses behind it are the same, but the effect is magnified."

"In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around. Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via email or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."