Online bullying "rapidly increasing" in Australia

August 6, 2014 by Fran Strachan, University of New South Wales
Online bullying
Credit: istock

Almost 50,000 Australian children experience cyberbullying that can lead to humiliation and depression, new research by UNSW's Social Policy Research Centre has found.

The research, which shows that one in five young Australians aged eight to 17 experiences each year, was commissioned by the as part of its $10 million commitment to Enhance Online Safety for Children.

Paul Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, announced the findings at the National Centre Against Bullying conference today.

The research shows that cyberbullying is most prominent in aged between 10 and 15 years, with prevalence decreasing for 16-17 year-olds. The estimated number of children and who were victims of cyberbullying last year was 463,000, with around 365,000 in the 10-15 age group.

The report also notes that the prevalence of cyberbullying has "rapidly increased" since it first emerged as a behaviour.

"As more children and young people use the internet and have access to smart phones, cyberbullying has become more prevalent," said Chief Investigator Professor Ilan Katz from the Social Policy Research Centre. "Our research shows that cyberbullying can have a worse impact on victims than 'offline' bullying."

Professor Katz is also Chief Investigator of the project Youth Exposure to, and Management of, Cyberbullying Incidents in Australia.

The research found the majority of cyberbullying incidents were dealt with through reporting to a school, with 72% of schools reporting at least one incident in 2013. However, the more serious cases are typically reported to the police.

Concerningly, the research found there is increasing evidence of the lasting effects of cyberbullying with links to low self-esteem, mental health issues, depression and anxiety.

The report recommends various interventions and responses to the prevalence of cyberbullying.

"Our research shows that the most promising approaches to the problem are to educate young people about appropriate behaviour online, and to create a facility for the rapid take down of offensive or distressing material from social networking sites," said Professor Katz.

Explore further: Study finds online bullying creates off-line fear at school

More information: The research results are available online: www.communications.gov.au/publ … tions/cyber-bullying

Related Stories

Study finds online bullying creates off-line fear at school

July 1, 2014
Cyberbullying creates fear among students about being victimized at school, a recent study by Sam Houston State University found.

Cyberbullying affects rich and poor alike

May 21, 2014
Cyberbullying isn't just a problem in middle class and affluent areas. Teenagers in poor, high-crime neighborhoods also experience online bullying, finds new research led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

Cyberbullying may call for new prevention tactics

April 23, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Cyberbullying is different than traditional bullying, and anti-bullying programs need to use specific measures to combat online aggression, a new Canadian study says.

Cyberbullying less frequent than traditional bullying, according to international studies

August 6, 2012
Traditional in-person bullying is far more common than cyberbullying among today's youth and should be the primary focus of prevention programs, according to research findings presented at the American Psychological Association's ...

Cyberbullying puts teens at risk

June 5, 2013
Teenage victims of cyberbullying, defined as the use of the internet or cell phones to send hurtful and harassing messages, are more likely to develop symptoms of depression, substance abuse and internet addiction, reports ...

Recommended for you

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

Study listens in on speech development in early childhood

January 15, 2018
If you've ever listened in on two toddlers at play, you might have wondered how much of their babbling might get lost in translation. A new study from the University of Toronto provides surprising insights into how much children ...

Study suggests people dislike you more for humblebragging than for regular boasting

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers from Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted a study regarding humblebragging—in which a person boasts about an achievement but tries to make it sound less boastful by minimizing it—and ...

Study identifies brain circuit controlling social behavior

January 11, 2018
A new study by researchers at Roche in Basel, Switzerland has identified a key brain region of the neural circuit that controls social behavior. Increasing the activity of this region, called the habenula, led to social problems ...

Can writing your 'to-do's' help you to doze? Study suggests jotting down tasks can speed the trip to dreamland

January 11, 2018
Writing a "to-do" list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a Baylor University study. Research compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants ...

Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets have no impact on overall opioid use

January 11, 2018
The introduction of tamper-resistant opioid tablets does not have an effect on rates of opioid use or harms at a population level, according to a new study led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.