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KSDK – A new study shows that cyber-bullying has actually decreased since 2011, with 7 percent fewer teens claiming to have experienced the phenomenon. Researchers say the decrease can be attributed to more young people seeking help from their families before cyber-bullying gets out of hand.

The survey – conducted by MTV and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research – found that less than half (49 percent) of respondents experienced digital abuse this year, as compared to 56 percent in 2011.

In addition, 26 of the 27 recognized forms of digital abuse have declined, including:

-A 30 percent drop in people using email, IM or text messages to spread rumors that weren't true (15 percent v. 21 percent)

-A 30 percent decline in people impersonating someone else on social media without their permission (15 percent v. 21 percent)

-A nearly 25 percent decrease in reports of spying by logging into personal email and/or social media accounts without permission (16 percent v. 21 percent)

Twenty five percent more young people are seeking help from their parents or family when it comes to cyber bullying than in 2011, with two thirds of the 33 percent of young people who asked their parents for help claiming that it made the situation better.

The most effective responses to digital abuse according to the study include:

-Changing email, IM, or social networking passwords (nearly three-quarters, or 73 percent, report that this made the situation better)

- Changing an email address, screen name or cell phone number (72 percent report this made the situation better)

-Deleting a social networking profile (72 percent report this made the situation better)

-Telling parents (66 percent report this made the situation better).

The number of young people who have sent or received "sext" messages have also declined, dropping 50 percent since 2009.

Of the young people who have shared naked pictures of themselves, 66 percent said they sent naked pictures to their boyfriend or girlfriend, and less than 15 percent have shared naked photos with someone they met online.

You can see the full results of the study here: http://bit.ly/1ifyGnA.

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