Nearly half of the country’s teenagers have been victims of online bullying, according to research by the University of Buckingham.
New research, in collaboration with the Sir John Cass’s Foundation, reveals that 43% of teenagers have been the victims of cyberbullying and that adults are worryingly ignorant about their children’s online experiences.
The report, Beyond The School Gates, shows that parents significantly underestimate the extent to which their children are bullies or bullied online with more than half of adolescents reporting that they had their picture posted online to embarrass them, yet only a fifth of parents believing the experience applied to their child.
Psychologist Dr Maša Popovac, author of the report, said: “Victimisation and perpetration of online aggression are linked – victims also tend to be perpetrators in 44.7% of cases. Apart from direct experiences, 77% reported witnessing cyberbullying often while online. Young people, therefore, have complex experiences with online aggression and bullying as victims, perpetrators and witnesses.
“This report on the experiences of cyber-aggression and cyberbullying among adolescents in the UK is an important step in starting a dialogue to address the issue of online safety among stakeholders in this area. “
Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon said: “This report is badly needed because it is grounded on serious research into this vital area. The numbers affected by this abuse are alarmingly high.”