A report on the Straits Times website reveals that young people who suffer cyber bullying may eventually perpetrate the same types of attacks on others. A study covering a broad section of the young Singapore population shows that one out of nine adolescents has experienced cyber bullying. About half of that number have bullied other kids themselves.

Studying the Cyber Bully Phenomenon

The Singapore Children’s Society and the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore conducted the large-scale study in 2014. The research spanned 3,319 students, between the ages of 12 to 17. The students came from 28 different schools in Singapore.

For the purposes of the study, and within society, cyber bullying is defined as “bullying in cyberspace where harm is intentionally and repeatedly inflicted upon an individual through the use of electronic devices,” according to the experts quoted by the Straits Times.

Uncovering the Troubling Statistics

In addition to the statistic that one in nine kids has been cyber-bullied, researchers are noting the disturbing number of victims who decided to become bullies themselves. About 40 percent of the Singaporean adolescents who were bullied online resorted to cyber-bullying others.

According to the study, girls and boys are equally prone to become bullies online. The victims usually know or suspect the identity of the attacker, but are often powerless to stop the bully’s pattern of spreading lies, perpetuating rumours, name-calling, shaming, and sending hurtful messages. Since some social media platforms allow users to delete or erase the provoking content later on, cyber bullies often become bolder, convinced that no one will be able to trace or prove the abuse.

Recognising the Danger of Retaliation

In response to their pain and anger, the victims often retaliate with similar bullying tactics, either against the original bully or against a weaker target. As the abuse worsens, they may become desensitised to how serious it really is and the effect it can have on others.

The 2014 study by the IMH and the Singapore Children’s Society also highlights awareness for children’s mental health in Singapore. Adolescents who experienced cyber-bullying are statistically more likely to develop behavioural issues, show socio-economic problems, harm themselves, consider suicide, or experience headaches and anxiety.

Seeking Help for the Cyber Bully or Victim in Your Life

Are you suffering from online emotional abuse? Do you suspect that a teenager in your life may be a cyber bully, or may be experiencing this kind of bullying online? Before matters become worse, convince your teen to visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. Speaking with a mental health professional can help adolescents come to a healthier understanding of cyber-bullying. Through the aid of a professional Singapore psychiatrist, your teen can learn to understand the motivation behind such bullying and can learn to respond to anger and stress in a healthy way.

Sometimes, eliminating the source of the conflict completely is one way to deal with the bully. Shutting down social media accounts, ignoring messages, blocking or un-friending particular people can all be good ways of eliminating the negative influences. Action may also need to be taken at school or with the correct authorities. Whether your child is the cyber bully or the victim, or both, Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic can help him or her find a positive mental balance and a better way to handle the emotions of growing up.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 13 March, 2017