What If Cyberbullying Happens To Your Teen

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Cyberbullying, using the Internet, cell phones, or another type of communication technology to hurt or embarrass others, is an increasingly common problem among today's youth. In a recent study conducted by the National Crime Prevention Council and Harris Interactive Inc., more than 43% of teens ages 13-17 have experienced cyberbullying within the past year.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 93% of teens use social media Web sites, and 55% of online teens have created a profile through social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. These sites allow teens to express their feelings online for the cyber world to view. Often motivated by anger, frustration or boredom, cyberbullies harass individuals by posting negative comments and pictures.

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Victims of cyberbullying usually feel a wide range of emotions, including indifference, anger and embarrassment. According to a study conducted by Fight Crime, only 35% of teens have told a parent about being cyberbullied; 16% have told no one.

Parents need to be aware of cyberbullying by monitoring their teen's online activity. If a cyberbully harasses your teen, the California Association Marriage and Family Therapists offers the following tips for parents:

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