Cambs Cyber-Bully Survey

13 January 2011, 06:42 | Updated: 13 January 2011, 07:19

A survey of secondary school pupils found girls were more likely to bully others using texts or the internet but boys stuck to more traditional forms of cruelty.

Child psychologist Dr Shane Gallagher from Cambridgeshire Educational Psychology Service also found that parents were unlikely to know the extent of the problem.

Dr Gallagher's research surveyed 239 youngsters in a secondary school and their parents. Students were asked about their involvement and experiences of cyber-bullying and their perceptions of their peers' involvement. Parents were asked about their awareness of their children's involvement with cyber-bullying.

The results showed a strong correlation between pupils who rated themselves as victims also seeing themselves as cyber-bullies.

Dr Gallagher said:

"A major practical step to address cyber-bullying would be to increase awareness among adults. Many parents at the moment didn't grow up with the same technology and are not as savvy of the potential of mobile phones and the internet, to the same extent as their children."

What is Cyber-bullying?

It means using technology to:

  • Send unpleasant or threatening text messages, emails, or messages online
  • Send pictures or video clips which could cause distress
  • Silent or abusive phone calls
  • Writing inappropriate or untrue comments about someone online
  • Filming people being hit or bullied and sending images for others to see
  • Excluding someone from online conversations on networking sites

Signs that may mean your child is being bullied online...

There are no physical signs of cyber-bullying but your child may be;

  • Withdrawn
  • Anxious
  • Have mood swings
  • Reluctant to answer their mobile
  • Irritable or upset after using the internet

 Source: Parentline Plus.