New research shines a light on the phenomenon of “cyber bullying,” suggesting that nearly 1 in 10 children are bullied through electronic means such as text messages, and girls are more likely to be victims than boys are.
Other kinds of bullying remain much more common, however. Large numbers of kids continue to harass each other by spreading rumors, turning fellow students into outcasts and intimidating others through words and violence.
The study authors examined a 2005 national survey that asked 7,182 students in grades 6 through 10 about bullying. The study findings appear online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Eight percent said others bullied them through computer pictures and messages; 6 percent received bullying messages through cell phones.
Thirteen percent of students said others physically bullied them — hit, kicked, pushed or shoved them or locked them indoors.
About a third of students said others called them mean names, made fun of them or teased them in a hurtful way; about a third acknowledged doing the bullying themselves. Moreover, 26 percent to 32 percent said others spread rumors about them or ostracized them.