A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Deusto in Spain found that teenagers who are subjected to cyberbullying are at a higher risk of developing symptoms of depressions, internet addiction and substance abuse.
Bullying is not confined to the four walls of a classroom or among peers and classmates. Cyberbullying has become a growing issue with more adolescents becoming tech savvy. It includes the use of cell phones and the Internet to send harassing and hurtful messages.
Researchers from the University of Deusto in Spain have found that cyberbullying can have an adverse effect, especially on teenagers. Their study revealed that teenagers subjected to cyberbullying often show symptoms of depression, Internet addiction and substance abuse.
Lead author Manuel Gamez-Guadix, Ph.D., of the University of Deusto in Spain, stated in a press release that this study was crucial in understanding the impact of cyber bullying on a teenager's mental behavior. He said that most teenagers subjected to this form of bullying show symptoms of psychological and behavioral health problems within six months.
A survey was conducted on 845 students aged between 13 and 17 years. Among these participants, 498 were girls and 337 were boys. Researchers noted that 24 percent of these participants reported experiencing at least one form of cyberbullying while 15.9 percent reported being subjected to two forms of cyberbullying. Eight percent reported experiencing more than 3 forms of cyberbullying. These included receiving hurtful, insulting and threatening messages, either through text messages or via the Internet as well as posting of rumors or fake photos and videos on social network sites.
Gamez-Guadix stated that teens who are cyberbullied often land up depressed and in turn depressed teenagers are more likely to become victims of cyberbullying.
"It is important to include strategies to prevent cyberbullying within interventions for behavioral problems during adolescence. Mental health professionals should pay special attention to these problems in the treatment of victims of cyberbullying," concluded Gamez-Guadix.