Young people think friends are more at risk of cyberbullying

teen
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain

Young people are aware of the risks of cyberbullying but perceive others as being more at risk than themselves. Young women are more vulnerable to this perception than young men.

This is the finding of a study by Dr Lucy Betts and Sondos Metwally from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) that will be presented as part of the poster presentation session at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference next week (Thursday 7 May 2015) hosted in Liverpool.

A survey, designed to measure how vulnerable felt to and how vulnerable they felt compared to other people, was completed by 109 sixth form students (63 females and 46 males aged between 16 and 18 years old).

Analysis showed that sixth form students rated themselves as being at a lower risk of cyberbullying than other groups (friends, students your age, younger students, and strangers). Among these other groups, younger students were identified as those at most risk of becoming a victim of cyberbullying. Girls also had a higher perception of the risks of experiencing cyberbullying than boys.

Dr Betts said: "Our findings suggest that whilst young people are aware of the associated with cyberbullying they believe that they are less likely to experience cyberbullying than their peers. This unrealistic perception of invulnerability appears to lead many to think it is something that happens to other people.

"However, given the reported high prevalence rates of cyberbullying in some studies (ranging from 7 - 70 per cent) it may be necessary to implement more measures so that whilst continuing to raise young people's awareness of the risks we also ensure they fully understand that this could actually happen to them."


Explore further

Cyberbullying linked to six-fold increase in depression among female college students

Provided by British Psychological Society
Citation: Young people think friends are more at risk of cyberbullying (2015, May 2) retrieved 16 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-05-young-people-friends-cyberbullying.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
66 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 02, 2015
If the risk of cyberbullying is less than 50%, an average perception of being less at risk than average is correct and should be the expected result of the study.

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