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