According to one expert, traditional face-to-face bullying is far more common than cyber bullying and should be the main focus of prevention programs. Psychologist Dan Olweus said his findings in several large-scale studies challenge the widespread belief that cyber bullying is the major problem among today’s youth. “Claims by the media and researchers that cyber bullying has increased dramatically and is now the big school-bullying problem are largely exaggerated,” Olweus said. “There is very little scientific support to show that cyber bullying has increased over the past five to six years, and this form of bullying is actually a less frequent phenomenon.”
His study of about 450,000 U.S. students in grades three to 12 found that 18 percent of students said they had been verbally bullied and about 5 percent said they had been cyber bullied. About 10 percent said they had verbally bullied others and 3 percent said they had cyber bullied others. Other studies showed that 80 percent to 90 percent of students who were cyber bullied also experienced traditional forms of bullying such as verbal and physical abuse, as well as being the subject of false, hurtful rumors.
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