A new Psychology in the Schools study found that social connectedness may act as a protective buffer against the negative mental health effects of cyberbullying.
In an online survey of 229 adolescents (aged 12-17 years) from various schools in South Australia, investigators examined experiences of cyberbullying, levels of social connectedness, depression, anxiety, and stress.
The more socially connected a young person was, the less likely they were to experience depression, anxiety, and stress as a result of cybervictimization. The findings suggest that understanding the role of social connectedness may be crucial to interventions that seek to mitigate the effects of cyberbullying. "It is important for young people, and their parents, to understanding how important feeling connected actually is, and that these feelings of connection can be just as real online as they are offline," said lead author Dr. Larisa McLoughlin, of the University of the Sunshine Coast, in Australia.