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For Immediate Release: November 27, 2007
Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication

(404) 639-3286

Adolescent Aggression No Longer Limited to the School Yard

Sixty-four percent of kids and teens who are harassed online, not harassed at school


A series of studies published today in the supplement to the Journal of Adolescent Health present the first collection of data examining how electronic media – blogs, instant messaging, chat rooms, email, text messaging and the Internet – affect adolescents in the United States. This supplement was funded by CDC.

Key findings show:

  • Adolescent aggression is not limited to the school yard. Although rates of electronic aggression are lower than rates of physical and verbal aggression, these rates seem to be increasing.
  • In 2000, 6 percent of internet users 10 to 17 years old said they had been subjected to online harassment; by 2005, the percentage had risen to 9 percent–an increase of 50 percent.
  • Technology is useful for developing social and communication skills, but can pose risks to adolescent health and safety.
  • Adolescents who were harassed online were more likely to get a detention or be suspended, to skip school, and to experience emotional distress.
  • Adolescents who receive rude or nasty comments via text messaging are six times more likely to also report feeling unsafe at school.
  • New media technology can create new areas of vulnerability to peer victimization for many adolescents.
  • Sixty-four percent of youth who are harassed on-line are not harassed or bullied at school.


Available online today.

Web site:

To access a complete copy of the journal and the supporting issue briefs, which summarize the research and discuss the implications of these findings for youth, parents, school staff, and educational policy makers, please visit