Cyber bullies cause more depression

And unlike traditional bullies, cyber bullies seem to be less depressed than their prey, the team at the National Institutes of Health found.

Jing Wang, Tonja Nansel and Ronald Iannotti of the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development analysed data from an international survey from 2005/2006 that included 4,500 US preteens and teens.

They were asked specifically about feelings of depression, irritability, grouchiness and ability to concentrate, and also asked specifically if they had been hit, called names, shunned or sent negative messages via computer or cell phone — or done any of these things to other people.

“Unlike traditional bullying which usually involves a face-to-face confrontation, cyber victims may not see or identify their harasser,” Iannotti’s team wrote in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“As such, cyber victims may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanised or helpless at the time of the attack.”

The NIH team found that cyber bully victims reported higher levels of depression than frequent bullies.

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