August 25, 2017
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Poll: 1 in 3 parents worry about bullying, cyberbullying

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Gary Freed
Gary Freed

A new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan indicated bullying and cyberbullying were parents’ top concerns regarding their children’s health.

“Adults across the country recognized bullying, including cyberbullying, as the leading health problem for U.S. children,” study researcher Gary Freed, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan, said in a press release.

To identify potentially problematic health topics among children and teens, Freed and colleagues conducted a survey among a nationally representative group of adults aged 18 years and older (n = 2,051) and parents of children aged up to 18 years (n = 1,505).

Overall, bullying/cyberbullying was the top health concern among parents (61%), followed by not enough exercise (60%), unhealthy eating (57%), drug abuse (56%), internet safety (55%), child abuse and neglect (53%), suicide (45%), depression (44%), teen pregnancy (43%), and stress (43%).

The highest proportion of parents were “very concerned” about bullying/cyberbullying, Internet safety and stress, followed by motor vehicle accidents and school violence.

Top concerns varied by children’s age. Motor vehicle accidents, bullying/cyberbullying and Internet safety were common among all groups. However, concerns about cancer were more common among parents of children aged up to 5 years, whereas concerns about depression were more common in parents of teens.

Black parents were most concerned about racial inequity and were very concerned about other issues regarding the safety of their children in the broader community, including school violence and motor vehicle accidents.

Hispanic and white parents more commonly indicated bullying/cyberbullying and Internet safety as very concerning.

Stress was also a common concern among Hispanic parents.

“Parents should regularly discuss internet safety with their children and teens and ways to prevent problems,” Freed said in the release. “Simple effective strategies may include not providing personal identifying information on social media, chat platforms, or in shared gaming environments.” – by Amanda Oldt

For more information:

To view the full poll results, visit http://mottnpch.org/reports-surveys.