Emergency Room: Half Of Teens Who Go Report Cyberbullying, Peer Violence

First Posted: Feb 19, 2016 09:21 PM EST

A new study shows that close to half of teens coming into the emergency room (ER) report peer violence and/or cyberbullying. The research also showed that nearly one-quarter show symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researcyers surveyed close to 400 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 who sought care at the ER between August 2013 and March 2014. They used validated self-reported measures to track mental health symptoms, violence exposure and risky behavior.

Findings showed that roughly 46 percent of the teenagers reported physical peer violence, 46 percent reported cyberbullying and close to 59 percent reported exposure to community violence. Close to a quarter of the teenagers also reported symptoms of PTSD (23 percent.) 

"These results should serve as a reminder to parents, schools and physicians that these problems are prevalent in our community," Dr. Megan Ranney, a researcher at Hasbro Children's Hospital and professor at Brown University, said in a news release. "This study also highlights that teens with a history of cyberbullying or peer violence are more likely to have PTSD, which is a very treatable disease if properly identified and addressed."

The study is published in General Hospital Psychiatry.

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