Study: For Bullied Teens, Online School Offered Safe Haven

From The Conversation. A Wayne State University psychology professor, Hannah L. Schacter, writes:

Online school during the COVID-19 pandemic was hard on many teens, but new research I co-authored has found a potential silver lining: Students were bullied less during remote instruction than while attending classes in person.

We learned this by surveying 388 ninth graders at U.S. high schools. We asked them to answer questions three times over the 2020-2021 school year, at about three-month intervals: in November 2020 and February and May 2021.

During that period, many students switched between online-only, in-person-only and hybrid schooling, as the severity of the pandemic shifted and state and local guidelines adjusted. We asked the students to tell us which of those environments they were learning in, how frequently they were the target of bullying, and whether they were feeling depressed or anxious, or having physical symptoms of stress, like headaches and nausea.

What we found was that bullied teens reported heightened anxiety when they were attending in-person school, but not when they were attending online school. And the higher proportion of the year a teen spent in online school, the less likely they were to report being bullied.

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