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Smartphones Drive Latest Wave of Cyber Bullying Among Teens

The rise of smartphones has outpaced traditional wisdom on how parents should monitor teenagers’ use of technology and created a powerful new venue for cyber-bullying, according to an Australian psychologist who has conducted the most detailed study yet of children’s behavior towards each other.

Sheryl Hemphill, from the Australian Catholic University, followed 700 Victorian school students from 7th to 9th grade, asking them anonymously whether they had teased, threatened, spread rumors about or excluded other children either in person or using a computer or phone. She found 15% of the teenagers had been involved in cyber-bullying, fewer than the 21% who confessed to having bullied others in person.

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