Online Bullying Incidents Drop [AUDIO]
A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV finds incidents of “digital abuse” are still prevalent, but declining somewhat.
The survey finds 49 percent of young people, ages 14 through 24 in the U.S., say they have had at least one brush with some kind of electronic harassment, down from about 56 percent in 2011.
Of those who have encountered an incident, 34 percent went to a parent, compared with 27 percent just two years ago. And 18 percent — up from 12 percent in 2011 — asked a brother or sister for help.
“It appears the norms of civility and socialization are being extended into the internet. All the publicity, all the talk, all the education in schools, it’s really having the desired effect,” says child psychologist Dr. Steven Tobias.
“Kids are much more aware of it and really aware of it as a problem. They understand that this is not okay, this is not normal , this is not something you should tolerate, I think that’s giving kids more permission to really talk to their parents to reach out.”
Dr. Tobias adds there is also a heightened awareness now about how bullying can lead to suicides.
“I think it’s probably scaring kids a little bit about the impact this can have,” Tobias explained.
As far as what’s the best way to respond if a kid is being bullied, Dr. Tobias points out there is no easy answer.
“It depends on the kid,” he says. “It depends on who the bully is, it depends on the social supports that the kid has, and every situation is really different.”
He stresses being bullied is very damaging, “and I think kids are realizing that.”