Bullying Victimization as a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems and Suicidal Idealization in Adolescents

150 150 admin

Part one: These are some great resources you shared about the impact of cyberbullying on the individual, school, community, etc. However, the forum asked to find a story in the news where cyber victimization/bullying occurred. After finding a news story, how does the research you found apply to the understanding the effects on these various levels in the news story you found? My answer that was posted;

Oh, W., Acquisti, A., & Sia, C. L. (2018). ICT Challenges and Opportunities in Building a “Bright Society.” The process of victimizing others using technology is the best description of cyber victimization. Cyber victimization can target individuals, government, and organizations as victims. With the rise of the use of technology in almost every aspect of life and using platforms such as social media, cyber victimization has also been on the rise.

For instance, among the children, it has been discovered that cyberbullying causes these children exhibit different characters to those not abused. In this case, abused children showed signs of not wanting to go to school, sharp decline in the grades, drop in the self-esteem issues, skipping schools and feeling withdrawn from the rest of his peers. These effects if not seen in time and such a kid help it can lead to depression with even some trying to commit suicide (Chen, & Lwin, 2017).

For the case of cyberbullying at the family level, the family is likely to experience difficulties. For instance, the family is expected to live intensions as family members are thrown in confusion due to being abused and the abused individual in the family resorting to keeping secrets to his family members. Besides that, the victim may also cheat to his family as he/she thinks that it was his/her fault. The victim is also likely to feel withdrawn from his family, and low self-esteem. Therefore, due to these effects of bullying to the family members, it would be important the family embraces the use of dialogue and constant communication among family members to identify changes in one easy and try to help the victim before the situation grows out of control (Kim et al., 2018).

Additionally, there are also effects that are associated with the community due to cyberbullying. In this case, some individuals feel victimized in the city because of not fitting into a group that is perceived to be normal. For instance, the media has portrayed continuously that slim ladies are beautiful as compared to fat ladies, this is likely to make these ladies feel not being fit enough to fit in the society and lead to withdrawal by the victims, and the significant drop in self-esteem (Kim et al., 2018).

Besides that, these effects are likely to be exhibited by victims of cyberbullying at the working place. Despite being full grown adults, they are not affected by these effects. As they are likely to keep to themselves, maintain secrets, skip job and their self-esteem is expected to drop significantly (Oh, Acquisti, & Sia, 2018).

One of the famous cyber victimization events that took place is the Ryan Halligan case that took place between 1989 and 2003. The victim resorted to suicide after experiencing cyberbullying where his private chats and conversations with a supposed friend were leaked and copy pasted on the social media (AIM). His parents reported that they found a folder filled with instant message exchange and realized that technology could be a weapon of destruction. The victim was humiliated when an embarrassing story he shared with his friend on messaging went public and resorted to suicide. That is one of the significant cases that the victims resorted to suicide after experiencing cyberbullying. The effects that it has on an individual, families, community, and workplace include humiliation and embarrassment, withdrawal, low self-esteem among others. In (Mc, G. C., & In Corcoran, L. 2017). In summary, cyber victimization should be taken much more seriously and should be considered as a weapon of destruction. The government should enforce laws that protect every of its citizen from the predicament of cyber victimization and cyberbullying altogether.


Chen, L., Ho, S. S., & Lwin, M. O. (2017). A meta-analysis of factors predicting cyberbullying perpetration and victimization: From the social cognitive and media effects approach. New media & society, 19(8), 1194-1213.

In Mc, G. C., & In Corcoran, L. (2017). Bullying and cyberbullying: Prevalence, psychological impacts and intervention strategies.

Kim, S., Colwell, S. R., Kata, A., Boyle, M. H., & Georgiades, K. (2018). Cyberbullying victimization and adolescent mental health: Evidence of differential effects by sex and mental health problem type. Journal of youth and adolescence, 47(3), 661-672.

Oh, W., Acquisti, A., & Sia, C. L. (2018). ICT Challenges and Opportunities in Building a “Bright Society.” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 19(2), 58-62.

part two:

Megan Meier was a 13 year old female. Nobulling.com (2016) states that she struggled with ADD, depression, and weight issues. Megan had struggled in the past with suicidal thoughts. She began engaging in a friendship with a boy who was nice and told Megan she was pretty. All of a sudden, the boy began to tell her he did not want to be friends and his posts began to be increasingly mean. Megan died by suicide after hanging herself in her broom closet (Nobullying.com, 2016). It was later discovered that the boy did not exist. A family in the neighborhood was bullying Megan. She died due an inability to cope with the pain caused by to a couple of kids who thought it was funny to bully, lie to, and manipulate others.

Jackson and Cohen (2012) identify bullying as behavior that is “intentional, have the potential to harm, are committed by an individual in an aroused physical state, and are perceived as aversive by the victim”. These behaviors can include insults, manipulation, pretense of being a friend, etc. Banning and colleagues (2014) found “both traditional and cyber bullying victimization were associated with mental health problems in girls but not in boys… Only traditional bullying victimization was associated with suicidal ideation after controlling for baseline suicidal ideation”.

I have to wonder if this finding could be repeated in another study. Looking for an article, there were story after story of bulling victims dying by suicide. Two thoughts come to mind. First, is the research influenced by previous mental illness? Secondly, if the sample did not have a diagnosis what would the results be different?

Bannink R, Broeren S, van de Looij – Jansen PM, de Waart FG, Raat H (2014) Cyber and Traditional

    Bullying Victimization as a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems and Suicidal Ideation in


. PLoS ONE 9(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.

Jackson, C.L., & Cohen, R. (2012). Childhood victimization: Modeling the relation between classroom

victimization, cyber victimization, and psychosocial functioning. Psychology of Popular Media

Culture. 1(4), 254–269. doi: 10.1037/a0029482

NoBullying.com. (2016). The tragic Megan Meier story. Retrieved from http://nobullying.com/the-



Hi there! Click one of our representatives below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Chat with us on WhatsApp