The Effects of Cyber Bullying on the Mental Health of Middle School-aged Youth

The Effects of Cyber Bullying on the Mental Health of Middle School-aged Youth

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Bullying has been an childhood problem for many and has been recognized as a serious issue. Campbell (2005) quotes Peterson (2001) stating that bullying is “the abusive treatment of a person by means of force or coercion” (qtd. in Campbell, 2005). Bullying is hurtful and can happen for no reason. It is a quick fix to make the bully feel satisfied and assert power (Campbell 2005). Cyber bullying is just one form of bullying and involves many different methods of harassing an individual. Use of the Internet via websites such as Facebook and Twitter along with both instant messaging on computers and text messaging on cell phones, allows a bully to target a victim with the use of anonymity. The anonymity of cyber bullying permits the use of technology to attack a victim without having to be in the same location as the victim and many times without the victim ever discovering whom their attacker is (Nuccitelli, 2012, p. 20).
Cell phone usage and ownership along with technology has advanced over the last decade. According to Miah and Omar (2013), cyber bullying has become so common “with over half of adolescents and teens having been victims of online bullying, and about the same number having engaged in cyber bullying”. Newspapers often report that in school violence events many times the perpetrator was a victim of bullying – a potential risk factor.
Bullying has been correlated with mental health via research studies most specifically through the form of cyber bullying. Research has shown that children who are bullied develop psychological distress from being isolated, threatened, and/or physically attacked (Arseneault, Bowes, & Shakoor, 2010). Middle school is an awkward time for young people as they are in-between phas...

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The University of Texas at Arlington. (n.d.). UTA's Criteria for IRB Approval. Retrieved
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Wagner, MD, PhD, K. D. (2007). Bullying and Risk of Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents.
Psychiatric Times, 58. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from

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