Nearly one in four teens is affected by online bullying and experts say that percentage is only increasing. Now, researchers at UW-Eau Claire are working with students on the re-occurring problem. Fox 25-48’s Noelle Anderson has the story.

Sexting, cyberbullying, and electronic dating violence are all making national headlines lately. According to researchers, one in four teens becomes a victim of online bullying. Cyberbullying is happening everywhere. It’s happening in big schools and in small schools.

Dr. Justin Patchin, professor of criminal justice at UW-Eau Claire has studied teen technology abuse and misuse for over a dozen years. And thanks to a new research grant, his studies will continue on a national level.

Patchin: “This new research allows us to survey a national representative sample of middle and high school students about their experiences with cyberbullying.”

A nearly 200 thousand dollar grant from the digital trust fund, formed by Facebook, will allow the researchers to gather, for the first time, national data from teens ages 12-17 about cyberbullying and digital forms of teen dating violence.

Patchin: “The one area we’re drilling in on, that we haven’t in the past, is teen dating violence. So examining cyberbullying as it occurs within a romantic relationship environment. We want to know if teens are using technology to manipulate, or harass, or stalk their romantic partners. There really isn’t a lot of good research on that. I am going to be looking at what has been published about the subject, and then from there, writing what is similar to a lit review about what I find. ”

Patchin has enlisted the help of undergrad students with his research.

Shelby Maruszczak: “By doing research with a professor who’s well known in the field, it’s just a great opportunity overall and I’ve been learning so much about it.”

Patchin says the survey will be administered early in 2016 and will be finished hopefully by next summer.