Technology and the internet have been so helpful in the continuation of education for our children. The benefits of technological advances are changing the way students interact in the classroom and the way they learn. But, it isn’t all good.
Children’s access to internet and technology has become a catalyst for something sinister: cyber-bullying. The use of instant messaging, social media, and picture sharing has become a form of bullying that is causing serious trauma to kids everywhere, even here in St. Louis.
Whether it is incessant name calling over a Facebook instant message, threats to life, or blackmail, we hear too many horror stories about the effects of cyber-bullying on children of all ages. And now cyber-bullying is even proving to be deadly.
According to a new analysis, cyberbullying is more strongly related to suicidal thoughts in children than traditional bullying. Suicide is already one of the biggest causes of death in adolescents worldwide. In the U.S., about 20% of kids seriously consider suicide and nearly 10% attempt suicide every year.
The analysis tested evidence by reviewing all the available medical literature on the subject of cyber-bullying, even though it hasn’t been around for very long. The researchers looked at 34 case studies focusing on the relationship between bullying and thoughts of suicide and nine studies on the relationship between bullying and suicide attempts.
The study was limited to evidence showing “peer victimization” which is the bullying of children by peers, or kids within their age group. Also excluded were some studies focusing on self-harm.
The study found that an association between cyberbullying and suicidal thoughts was visible in 70,102 of the participants, out of 284,375 total participants. Previous studies had evidence indicating that cyber-bullying had equal association with suicidal thoughts as traditional bullying – but this evidence proves cyber-bullying to be much more dangerous.
The authors of the analysis suggest that suicide and cyber-bullying may have stronger connections because wider audiences can be reached online, and the material can be stored and re-shared, causing the victims to relive the painful experience multiple times.
If your child has been the victim of cyber-bullying in St. Louis, and has suffered emotional or physical distress that has not been properly addressed by the school district or parents of the abusive child, an attorney at the Finney Law Office, LLC can help you.