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JAMA Pediatrics Patient Page
May 2014

Cyberbullying

JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(5):500. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3343

Bullying occurs throughout the world and can happen at many stages in the life course, from childhood to adolescence and even to adulthood. While traditional schoolyard bullying still exists, in recent years, the Internet has provided a new platform for bullying.

There are many online platforms in which bullying may take place including e-mail, blogs, social networking websites (eg, Facebook and Twitter), online games, and text messaging. This phenomenon has come to be known as cyberbullying, electronic aggression, or online harassment. Several definitions of cyberbullying exist; most are variations on accepted definitions for traditional bullying. One commonly used definition of cyberbullying is “an aggressive, intentional act or behavior that is carried out by a group or an individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.” Estimates of the number of youth who experience cyberbullying vary, ranging from 10% to 40%, depending on the age group and how cyberbullying is defined.

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