It’s a serious issue: make it a point not to miss family dinners with your kids to help them cope up with cyberbullying.
A new study has found that cyber or internet bullying is as dangerous as traditional bullying and can increase the risk of mental health problems in teenagers just as much as the misuse of drugs and alcohol may cause.
Cyberbullying involves the posting of rumours and gossips about people on the internet, with intent to defame.
As part of their study, the researchers examined the association between cyber-bullying and substance use problems to that of mental health, as well as any moderation of the effects through family contact and communication during the course of family dinners.
Around 18,834 students took part in the survey data within the age bracket of 12-18, from 49 schools in the us. Nearly 19% of the students reported they had experienced cyberbullying in the last one year.
Family dinners appeared to moderate the relationship between cyberbullying and mental health, the findings showed.
The study showed that with four or more family dinners per week there was about a four-fold difference in the rates of total problems between no victimisation to frequent victimisation. When there were no dinners the difference was more than seven-fold.
Frank elgar from mcgill university in montreal, canada says, family dinners (family contact and communication) are beneficial to the adolescent mental health and may help protect adolescents from the harmful consequences of cyberbullying.