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Spending more time online may put teens at cyberbullying risk

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Teenagers who spend over two hours a day on social network sites are more likely to become victims of cyberbullying, a study has found.

The study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, examined data from several European countries.

Researchers at and Kapodistrian in found that school children in Romania, and were more likely to experience cyberbullying, such as aggressive and threatening messages, spreading rumours and sharing private, inappropriate or humiliating information, if they used social network sites for more than 2 hours a week day.

"This is an important finding which challenges past research suggesting that simply having, rather than excessive use of, a social network site profile increases the risk of becoming a victim of cyberbullying," said Artemis Tsitsika, a at

The researchers found that a relatively high proportion of school children in (37.3 per cent), (26.8 per cent), (24.3 per cent) and (21.5 per cent) have been bullied online whereas a fewer proportion experience in the (15.5 per cent), (13.5 per cent) and (13.3 per cent).

"We found multiple factors, in addition to the time spent on social media, which may impact frequency and explain the differences between countries," Tsitsika said.

"In and higher may be due to a lack of digital literacy and relevant legislation, as well as sudden rise of use and a large technological gap between parents and the younger generation," he said.

"Promotion of and teaching digital skills in education may contribute to lower rates of cyberbullying in the Netherlands," he added.

"In all cases higher daily use with no monitoring and digital literacy background may lead to teenagers posting private information and meeting strangers online," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 14:30 IST