In a recent analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics, lead author Mitch van Geel sought to further investigate the correlation between peer victimization and suicidal ideationor attempts among children and adolescents.
Peer victimization was confirmed to be related to both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts; analysis showed that victims of both traditional bullying and cyberbullying were more than twice as likely to contemplate and attempt suicide when compared to other kids.
As part of their study, for instance, researchers found that about 3% of students from New York State who were not bullied thought about or attempted suicide, as opposed to 11% of students who were frequently bullied.
Previous evidence has suggested that cyberbullying has an equal association with suicidal thoughts as traditional bullying. However, this new study has found that a stronger correlation between bullying and suicidal thoughts was seen in cyberbullied subjects. In fact, the researchers at the Leiden University, Netherlands, observed that children and teens harassed on the internet were about three times as likely as other kids to have suicidal thoughts.
“At this point, this is speculative and more research is definitely needed on cyberbullying,” van Geel wrote. He points out that this could be attributed to the wider audience that victims of cyberbullying are exposed to, as well as the fact that online harassment can be stored on the Internet.
With the fact that cyberbullying has been on the rise in different parts of the world, it is important to take proper precautions when using the internet.