/ Marriage and Family

Buffering Effects of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has been blamed for depression, anxiety, suicidal thinking, and tragically, suicide itself among youth. The social platform most commonly associated with cyberbullying is Instagram.

Research shows that the more socially connected young teens are to their parents and the more they engage in school/ community events, the more resilient and resistant to the effects of cyberbullying they are. Social connectedness was shown to provide a “buffering” effect among 200 youth considered at risk for bullying. Young teens least likely to be resistant to the emotional anguish of bullying were those teens whose primary strong connections are only with peers or friends.

The recommendations: Place high value on developing close relationships with young teens. Reduce screen time, and keep them engaged in school-based/community activities.

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