Dealing with the cyberworld's dark side
People who are cyberstalked or harassed online experience higher levels of stress and trauma than people who are stalked or harassed in person, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association's 119th Annual Convention.
"Increasingly, stalkers use modern technology to monitor and torment their victims, and one in four victims report some form of cyberstalking, such as threatening emails or instant messaging," said Elizabeth Carll, PhD, in a talk entitled, "Electronic Harassment and Cyberstalking: Intervention, Prevention and Public Policy."
Emotional responses to the stress and trauma experienced by victims may include high levels of ongoing stress, anxiety, fear, nightmares, shock and disbelief, helplessness, hyper-vigilance, changes in eating, and sleeping difficulties, Carll said.
"It is my observation that the symptoms related to cyberstalking and e-harassment may be more intense than in-person harassment, as the impact is more devastating due to the 24/7 nature of online communication, inability to escape to a safe place, and global access of the information," Carll said.
U.S. Department of Justice statistics reveal that some 850,000 adults, the majority female, are targets of cyberstalking each year, according to Carll. Citing various other sources, she gave examples of the pervasiveness, including:
- 40 percent of women have experienced dating violence via social media, which can include harassing text messages and disturbing information about them posted on social media sites.
- 20 percent of online stalkers use social networking to stalk their victims.
- 34 percent of female college students and 14 percent of male students have broken into a romantic partner's email.
"The same technologies used to harass can also be used to intervene and prevent harassment," she said, adding that some states are considering mandating the use of GPS tracking devices on offenders to allow victims to keep tabs on them.
"Imagine a cell phone application that can tell you if someone threatening you is nearby," Carll said. "That could be life-saving."
Law enforcement, legal assistance and other social service providers need training to use direct and electronic methods to intervene and prevent electronic harassment, and victims need training in the safe use of technology, she said.
In another session Friday, researchers released results of a study that found 36 percent of students had been cyberbullied at least once in the past year.
Researchers examined data collected in 2009 from 1,112 students, ages 12 to 19, 405 female, from schools in Seoul and the Keonggi area of South Korea. Of these, 225 were in elementary school, 678 in middle school and 209 in high school. The students completed a questionnaire about their cyberbullying experiences, self-esteem and how they regulate their emotions.
"The results revealed that cyberbullying makes students socially anxious, lonely, frustrated, sad and helpless," said presenter YeoJu Chung, PhD, of South Korea's Kyungil University.
The research explored how adolescents emotionally deal with cyberbullying. Students who said they ruminated, or obsessed, about the negative event were more likely to suffer serious stress from cyberbullying. In addition, people who blamed themselves for the situation were more likely to ruminate. Students who refocused on positive thoughts were able to cope and recover more quickly, according to the study.
Students reported that they were more negatively affected by cyberbullying when it was anonymous and in "one-sided sites such as blogs and cyber boards." The research also showed that students who are victims of cyberbullying will often subsequently bully others online.
"Lots of adolescents have trouble recovering from negative effects of cyberbullying," said Chung. "We can help them use emotion regulation skills to recover, rather than become bullies themselves."
Provided by American Psychological Association
- Both boys and girls negatively affected by sexual harassment May 12, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- New study reveals prevalence of cyberbullying and its psychological impact on nonheterosexual youth Mar 08, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Adolescent cyberbullies and their victims may have physical, mental health problems Jul 05, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Cyberbullying -- a growing problem Feb 22, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Sexual harassment at school -- more harmful than bullying Apr 23, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
17 hours ago I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
Genetic variations within and between populations
May 12, 2013 This paper (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1893020/) asserts these two different conclusions: ---Quote--- Thus the answer to the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Most Medicare beneficiaries treated in inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) exhibit characteristics associated with hospital readmission, according to a report prepared for the National Association ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Skydivers show the same level of physical stress before every jump whether a first-timer or experienced jumper, say Northumbria researchers.
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Children of depressed parents pick up on their parents' sadness—whether mom or dad realizes their mood or not.
Psychology & Psychiatry 18 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
(HealthDay)—As many as one in five American children under the age of 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to a new federal report.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 16, 2013 | 2 / 5 (4) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Whether we're listening to Bach or the blues, our brains are wired to make music-color connections depending on how the melodies make us feel, according to new research from the University ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
14 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
11 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), UC Davis scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |