Why happy children may be safer online

Since the dawn of the digital age, cyberbullying has become increasingly prevalent among schoolchildren and therefore has been the subject of numerous studies into antagonising behaviour among youths. One paper collected by Society Fellow Peter Smith from Goldsmiths, University of London, has found a child's happiness could determine whether they are victimised online.

The latest research on the impact of cyberbullying among youngsters has been included in a special issue of the Routledge journal Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and indicates those involved in the act of bullying show greater "moral disengagement" than traditional playground bullies.

Furthermore, contended schoolchildren appear less at risk, which could point the way to a means of preventing this type of ill treatment from increasing.

The study also found that while cyberbullying is still a "systematic abuse of power" the bully rarely sees their victim react, but it can be carried out anonymously and people can find it very hard to escape the nasty comments made at them due to the prevalence of smartphones and tablets.

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