Attention Parents! The Hidden Danger of Cyberbullying That’s Skyrocketing

In light of an alarming rise in cyberbullying among children and adolescents, this article delves into the key findings of a recent WHO Europe report that surveyed 279,000 children across Europe, Central Asia and Canada.

Cyberbullying on the Rise

The report notes a surge from 13% in 2018 to 16% in 2022, in the number of children aged 11 to 15 who have suffered cyberbullying. The split was fairly equal between genders, with 15% of boys and 16% of girls reporting experiences of cyberbullying.

The Pandemic and Online Behavior

The study suggests that the pandemic has contributed to a transition in adolescent conduct, leading to more online forms of peer aggression. With young individuals spending up to six hours online daily, approximately one in eight admitted to cyberbullying others, marking a three percentage point uplift from 2018.

Regional Variations and Influences

The survey revealed that boys in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, and Poland bore the brunt of cyberbullying, whereas the lowest levels were reported in Spain. Interestingly, cyberbullying spiked at age 11 for boys and 13 for girls in most regions. Furthermore, the data showed that a child's behavior was not significantly impacted by their parents' socioeconomic standing.

However, there were exceptions, such as in Canada, where less privileged youngsters were more likely to be targets of bullying. Notably, physical clashes among adolescents remained steady at 10% over the four-year period.

Report Recommendations

The report urges for an increase in awareness and investment in the scrutiny of peer violence. Suggestions include offering education to young people, families, and schools about the reality of cyberbullying and its potential impacts. Notably, it also advocates for the regulation of social media platforms to decrease exposure to cyberbullying.

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