Keeping in mind that many victims and bystanders do not It is vital for parents and schools to spot the warning signs:

  • Unexplained bruising, cuts or damaged clothes
  • Visible signs of anxiety or distress – refusal to say what is wrong
  • Unexplained mood swings or behaviour
    • becoming withdrawn
    • becoming clinging
    • attention seeking
    • aggressive behaviour
  • Out of character behaviour in class
  • Deterioration in educational attainments
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of interest in school
  • Erratic attendance
  • Mitching
  • Lingering behind in school after classes are over
  • Increased requests for pocket money or stealing money
  • Loss of or damage to personal possessions or equipment
  • Artwork expressing inner turmoil

Warning Signs for Cyberbullying

While the signs for effects of cyberbullying are often indistinguishable from those of traditional bullying, there are some specific to cyber-bullying:

  • Appears upset when online or coming offline
  • Appears upset when viewing a text message
  • Withdraws from social interaction with peers
  • Possible drop in academic performance

A significant proportion of cyber-victims also remove themselves from the online venue in which the in which the cyber-bullying occurred, with as many as one in five feeling forced to stay offline for a period of time.


In addition to these signs and symptoms there is the likelihood of there being psychosomatic symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches and general insomnia, is also great.  Bed-wetting and sleepwalking can also be indicative of the psychological stress associated with bullying.

Suggested Further Reading & Links

Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age. (2008) Kowalski,R.M., Limber,S.P, and Agatston,P.W. Blackwell Publishing, 2008.
Bullying: A Handbook for Educators and Parents (2009) Rivers,I., Duncan,N. & Besag,V.E. Rowan & Littlefield. Philadelphia.
Bullying: A Parent’s Guide (2005) Need 2 Know. Peterborough.
Tell Tale Signs – Bully 4 U -
Understanding School Bullying (2010)  O’Moore, M. Veritas. Dublin