We continue to collect statistics about bullying – both in person and via text and the internet. A new study entitled Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Networks indicates that more kids are bullied in person than in virtual environments. In fact, the study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project for the Family Online Safety Institute concluded that most young people are kind to one another on social networks.
The statistics align closely with previous scientific surveys on bullying and cyberbullying. The largest source of bullying (12 percent) was in person, followed by text messaging (9 percent). Eight percent said they had been bullied via email, a social networking site or instant messaging and 7 percent were bullied via voice calls on the phone. Girls are more likely to have experienced what we typically call “cyberbullying,” while boys and girls are roughly equal when it comes to in person bullying.
According to the study, more young people are stepping in when they witness bullying. While 55 percent of teens say that their peers who witnessed cruel behavior typically ignore it, 27 percent said they “frequently see others defend the victim,” while 20 percent said they “frequently see others tell the person being mean to stop.” Nearly a fifth (19 percent) said they frequently see others join in the harassment.
Many schools and youth organizations are implementing programs to help children develop the necessary skills to address bullying – as the bully, the victim, and the bystanders. If your organization has a successful program in place to prevent bullying in school, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.