Positive Parenting: Cyberbullying & Mental Health

Among students age 12 to 18 who reported being bullied during the school year, 15% said they were bullied online or by text.

As we show you this in Positive Parenting, social scientists are trying to learn even more about the relationship between these encounters and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

USC developmental psychologist, Dr. Brendesha Tynes, and her colleagues surveyed 559 students in grades six through 12 to learn more about their experiences with online bullying. They found that cyber victimization and poor mental health go hand-in-hand and can actually affect one another.

Tynes said that parents can support their child’s mental health by pointing out strengths. She also warns that taking away their phone or computer use could actually make things worse.

She said, “It’s better to have them manage the experience than take away the device.”

Findings suggest parents, teachers, and schools need to continue creating guidelines for online behavior that gives students strategies for protecting themselves and procedures for reporting incidents.

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