A recent study has identified a significant relationship between suicidal thoughts and cyberbullying.
The study, authored by Drs. Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin of the Cyberbullying Research Center, is scheduled to be published in a 2010 issue of the academic journal Archives of Suicide Research.
Data from nearly 2,000 randomly-selected youth from a large school district in the South revealed that individuals experiencing cyberbullying -- either as an offender or victim -- had more suicidal thoughts and were more likely to attempt suicide than those who had not experienced such forms of peer aggression.
The five major contributing factors behind the findings include:
1 -- The permanence of computer-based messages as compared to verbal statements. Computer-based comments often are preserved on web sites and in Internet archives, search engine caches, log files, user software applications, and user devices.
2 -- The ease and freedom with which hurtful, embarrassing, or threatening statements are made.
3 -- The comparative difficulty of detecting the misbehavior, identifying the offending party, proving or verifying the wrongdoing, and imposing a meaningful sanction.
4 -- Victimization extends beyond the school, playground, bus stop, or neighborhood because computers and cell phones seem to be "everywhere" and adolescents today lead what seem to be an "always-connected" life.
5 -- The growing number of potential victims and offenders as youth increasingly embrace new communications technologies, devices, and mediums to interact with each other.
For more information, visit www.cyberbullying.us/