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Research Shows Most Parents Are Unaware of Kids’ Cyberbullying

Sahara Byrne, PhD, is a professor of communication at Cornell University and an expert in online communication who studies social media use by kids and teens. Following the arrest of two youths allegedly connected to a Florida teen who committed suicide last month after being cyberbullied, Byrne says her research shows that parents would be surprised by what their kids are doing on the Internet.

Byrne says:

“Youths believe that social media is their turf and they are somewhat correct. Parents sometimes have no idea what their kids are doing online until it's too late.

“Our study found while 30% of youths admit to having been cyberbullied, only slightly higher than 10% of their parents reported that they knew. About 15% of the youths in the study admitted to cyberbullying others, under 5% of those parents were aware.

“The study also suggested that parents of younger teens—those who believe their child is smarter than others online or who are not able to monitor their teen's Internet use—are more likely to be unaware that their child has been cyberbullied.”

Byrne’s new study of children’s risky online experience was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

— Source: Cornell University