Tynes’ research shows online discrimination leaves lasting scars

Brendesha Tynes

Dr. Brendesha Tynes

The Portland Skanner interviewed Brendesha Tynes for an article titled, “Expert: Racial Cyberbullying Leaves Lasting Scars.” Tynes said that when there’s online racial discrimination, we see an increase in anxiety and aggressive behavior. Her studies show that discrimination is related to GPA over time, through its effect on depressive symptoms.

Tynes, whom the article notes is one of the nation’s foremost experts on racist cyberbullying, said that racism is the most common form of cyberbullying. “We’ve shown that 55 percent of adolescents say that they’ve witnessed people saying mean or rude race-related comments online. And then about 31 percent of African Americans say that they’ve experienced it directly.” She noted that parents of children of color need to be especially mindful of providing their children with ways to cope with online racist comments.

When asked what her goal is, Tynes said that she’d like to “improve the life chances of underrepresented youth.” She said that because racial discrimination is linked to academic performance, she’d like to create interventions that will train youth to cope with discrimination.