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Family Dinners May Help Reduce Cyberbullying's Harmful Effects in Teens — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 2, 2014

Family Dinners May Help Reduce Cyberbullying's Harmful Effects in Teens

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Teens who are victims of cyberbullying are more likely to have mental health and substance use problems, while regular family dinners appear to moderate these negative health effects, a JAMA Pediatrics study suggests.

Roughly 19,000 students aged 12 to 18 completed surveys about cyberbullying and family dinners, a proxy for family communication. Teens who said they were often cyberbullied had two to five times the risk for mental health and substance use problems as those who were never cyberbullied.

Meanwhile, a higher number of family dinners per week was linked with reduced health problems related to victimization — when adolescents had at least four family dinners, there was a four-fold difference in the rates of problems between those who were never victimized versus those who were frequently victimized. That gap increased to seven fold when there were no family dinners.

An editorialist concludes: "The relatively simple parenting behavior of regularly eating dinner together ... may provide more opportunities for youth disclosure of bullying events."

Reader Comments (2)

Alinn Other, Psychiatry, Dan Francisco

Really Cyber Bullying is serious issue. It can make worst life situations, However Cyberbullying can be avoided by taking actions at beginning by Monitoring Teens Phone Activities with the Help of Phone Monitoring software like Mrfollow

Jose Jesus Physician, Oncology, National Cancer Institute of Brazil

It's a real situation unfortunately.

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