Kids with cell phones more at risk of cyberbullying

Kids with cell phones more at risk of cyberbullying

Does your fourth grader son or daughter own a cell phone? Beware, he or she may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying, researchers have warned.

Read also:Paying attention to ringing phone while driving may be risky

Findings:

  • The findings showed that children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4.
  • The increased risk could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability.
  • Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions.
  • Provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers.
  • And increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers' postings and messages, the researchers said.
  • Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone.
  • But our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well," said Expert.

Experiment:

  • For the study, the team collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5.
  • Across all three grades, 49.6 per cent of students reported owning a cell phone.
  • Overall, 9.5 per cent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying.
  • Researchers also noted that the older the student.
  • The more likely s/he was to own a cell phone: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders.

Results:

  • The results are a reminder for parents to consider the risks.
  • As well as the benefits when deciding whether to provide their elementary school-aged child with a cell phone.
  • At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communicating in the social sphere," Expert said.

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