Researchers identified 41 suicide cases (24 female, 17 male, ages 13 to 18), 24 percent of whom were the victims of homophobic bullying, including the 12 percent of teens identified as homosexual and another 12 percent who were identified as heterosexual or of unknown sexual orientation. "Cyberbullying is a factor in some suicides, but almost always there are other factors such as mental illness or face-to-face bullying," said study author John LeBlanc, M.D., M.Sc., an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. "Cyberbullying usually occurs in the context of regular bullying." Leblanc said that certain social media, by allowing anonymity, may encourage cyberbullying, but he acknowledged that because of the complex issues involved, it's "difficult to prove a cause-and-effect relationship."
Teenage victims often find it difficult to escape cyberbullying, however.
Read more about this issue in Psychiatric News here.
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