Survey: White, Young Teen-age Girls Main Targets of Cyber-Bullying

A recent survey of Illinois high school students shows that 19.3 percent are bullied at school, 16 percent report being cyber-bullied and 9.8 percent say they have been involved in fights at school. These results are slightly lower than the 2009 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) which showed that 21 percent of high school students were bullied at school and 11 percent were involved in a physical fight at school.

Researchers at the Child Health Data Lab at Children’s Hospital of Chicago Research Center (the research center at Lurie Children's) pulled the data from the 2011 Illinois YRBS.


"Bullying Causes Both Physical and Emotional Harm"

“This is the first time Illinois has collected such data and students were asked whether they had been bullied at school or bullied electronically during the last 12 months,” says Jenifer Cartland, PhD, Director of the Child Health Data Lab and Research Associate Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It is widely known that bullying causes both physical and emotional harm, and in some cases, can eventually lead to suicide. The YRBS decided it was time to uncover more information on bullying in adolescents.”
Bullying at school is a general term which includes verbal and physical abuse whereas bullying electronically is through email, chat rooms, websites and texting.  This is also known as cyber-bullying. Additionally, students were asked if they had been involved in a physical fight on school property.
Significant findings include:


  •  Younger students are more likely to report being bullied
  •  Female students are twice as likely as males to report being bullied electronically
  •  White students most frequently report being bullied – at school and electronically
  •  Males are twice as likely as females to report being in a physical fight at school
  •  Non-whites (African-Americans, Hispanics and youths from other races) are almost twice as likely as white students to report being in a physical fight at school.


“These kids are not alone ..."

“Bullying is often thought to be just ‘part of growing up’, but it doesn’t have to be, and it can be quite damaging.  Experts, parents and schools are becoming aware of ways to prevent it. There are many outlets and resources for the youth to reach out if they are a victim of bullying,” said Cartland. “These kids are not alone and these programs can help.”
Visit these sources for more information on adolescent bullying.


Resources for Youth


Resources for Parents and Educators

For more information, please contact Julie Pesch at 312.227.4261. ​

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.

Media Relations Contacts

Public Affairs & Communications

Call: 312.227.4600

Main Hospital Campus

225 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611