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Cyberbullying increases with mobile phone usage

Instant messaging programs are more dangerous than social media. Values, education and teaching teenagers social skills, good ways to fight against cyberbullying.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus OVIEDO 15 JANUARY 2016 12:12 h GMT+1
cyberbullying, teenaegers, mobile phones. The use of internet is a big risk factor of cyberbullying.

According to the Psychology Department of the University of Oviedo (Spain) the use of instant messaging (Whatsapp, Line, Telegram), having your own cell phone, online games and using Internet more than 3 hours a day, are big risk factors of suffering severe cyberbullying during the teenage years.



The study has been published in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, and its authors interviewed 3,180 students between 11-19 years old, focusing on these variables:




  • Demographic: sex and age

  • Psychologal: self-esteem, anxiety, shyness

  • Educational: Bullying, school support, academic performance

  • Family: Parental control

  • Technological: Use of Internet, risk behaviour.



FRUITLESS PARENTAL CONTROL



Although the authors thought that parental control could be a protection against cyberbullying, the study reveals that it is usually fruitless, because teenagers spend most of their time with friends, and have access to other mobile devices without parental supervision.



Regarding the educational variables, the survey points out that those who suffer bullying at school, are more likely to experience severe cyberbullying too.



Often, victim and attacker go to the same school. Additionally, a bad academic performance also rises the risk of cyberbullying.



 



Parental control is usually fruitless, teenagers spend most of their time with friends.



 



WHATSAPP, MORE DANGEROUS THAN SOCIAL MEDIA



The technological variables reviewed in the survey show that the use of internet is a big risk factor of cyberbullying, specially if the teenager navigates for more than 3 hours and during the weekends.



Besides, the instant messaging programs are more dangerous than social media. The attackers use them for verbal and visual aggressions, social exclusion, and identity theft.



 



POSIBLE SOLUTIONS



According to the authors of the study, values education and teaching teenagers social skills, are good ways to fight against cyberbullying, along with a good digital training about the advantages and risks of the electronic devices.



They also state that a good communication between parents and children is more effective than parental control.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.