Rates of online bullying among youth showed an encouraging drop this year, amid greater awareness of the potential harm caused by cyberbullying,
About 49 percent of people between the ages of 14 and 24 said they’ve experienced at least once some kind of electronic harassment, down from 56 percent in 2011, according to the Associated Press poll released Thursday with MTV.
Young people are also responding more proactively to bullying, against a backdrop of high-profile suicides by teenagers who were bullied, according to the poll. About 34 percent of those who experienced bullying went to a parent, up from 27 percent in 2011, and 18 percent asked a sibling for help, up from 12 percent in 2011. While girls were more likely to be the target of online bullying, they were also more likely to reach out for help.
Meanwhile, less than a third of those who retaliated said it helped, and 20 percent said it made the situation worse.
The poll comes amid a wave of national awareness of the threat of online bullying, with every state but Montana having enacted anti-bullying laws. Last week, Florida police charged two girls, 12 and 14, with a felony for allegedly bullying a 12-year-old girl who later killed herself.