Emotional and Social Effects of Cyberbullying on Adolescents
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With an even greater number of adolescents depending upon digital technologies to satisfy their social and interpersonal needs an indirect consequence of this participation have been the negative social and emotional repercussions of cyberbullying behaviour. Cyberbullying has become an unfortunate consequence of increased online participation and interactions. The current literature review utilizes Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) and the General Aggression Model (GAM) to explain what motivates perpetrators to cyberbully and understand the impact these acts have on victims. Research findings suggest youth exposed to cyberbullying behaviour exhibit both short and long term effects having both significant and severe emotional and social repercussions. These repercussions include but are not limited to the following: social anxiety, depression, anger, substance abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal ideation and in some cases suicide. The purpose of this analysis is to raise awareness and support for the introduction and instalment of digital citizenship training at the secondary school level. To effectively navigate the intricacies of the online world youth must be equipped with proper skills and strategies. Based on research findings adolescents must be given applicable ground rules and actively supervised to ensure appropriate use. If it is expected that youth engage appropriately online it is important that adults model and reinforce appropriate behaviour at home, in schools and in the community.