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PAS: Cyberbullying Common Among High School Students

Prevalence found to be highest among females

MONDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- About one in six high school students reported being a victim of cyberbullying in the past year, especially females, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 4 to 7 in Washington, D.C.

Karen Ginsburg and Andrew Adesman, M.D., from Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park, analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, which surveyed 15,425 public and private high school students about whether they had been a victim of electronic bullying in the past year.

The researchers found that 16.2 percent of students reported being the victim of electronic bullying. Bullying was more common in females compared with males (22.1 versus 10.8 percent) and remained more common for females than males across ethnic groups and across all four grades. Bullying was more common among whites, at 18.6 percent compared with 8.9 percent for blacks, 13.6 percent for Hispanics, and 14.4 percent for Asians. The prevalence of bullying ranged from 15.0 to 18.1 percent across grades. About a third of students (31.1 percent) reported spending about three hours a day of video/recreational computer use, which was significantly more common among males compared with females and among Asians compared with whites.

"Electronic bullying is a very real yet silent danger that may be traumatizing children and teens without parental knowledge and has the potential to lead to devastating consequences," Ginsburg said in a statement. "By identifying groups at higher risk for electronic bullying, it is hoped that targeted awareness and prevention strategies can be put in place."

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