EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -October is National Bullying Prevention month, and a new, national survey is taking a look at cyberbullying among tweens.
Researchers have studied cyberbullying for the past 20 years, but they’ve only looked at teenagers.
The Cyberbullying Center at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire teamed up with Cartoon Network to change this.
“I think tweens are in this difficult period where they’re being introduced to new technology, to new experiences in those spaces,” said UWEC Professor of Criminal Justice Justin Patchin. “We need to help bridge the gap between what the tweens are experiencing and seeing online and what the parents know about that.”
The study found about one in six tweens has already witnessed bullying online, and another 15% said they have personally experienced cyberbullying.
Between the ages of nine and 12, many children expand their access to and use of technology that connects them to the Internet.
At the age of nine, 20% of children have smartphones. By the age of 12, that number jumps up to more than 65%.
Patchin said it’s important to talk early and often with children about being online.
“You want to open up that dialogue, that line of communication, and you want to make sure your children know that you’re there to help them deal with those problems and not to be afraid,” Patchin said. “Frankly, the best way parents can find out if their child is being cyberbullied is for their child to tell them about it.”
The study also showed what apps, games and websites tweens visit the most. YouTube, followed by the videogame Minecraft, were the most popular places for tweens online.
To read the full study click here.
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