Almost one in two Australian children are being bullied, a survey shows.

The Queensland University of Technology study, involving 3112 students from grades 6 to 12 in nearly 30 schools around the country, found "traditional" face-to-face bullying was twice as prevalent as cyber-bullying.

About 30 per cent of students reported being bullied in person, while 15 per cent said they were victims of cyber-bullying.

About 7.5 per cent said they had been subject to both forms of bullying.


Lead researcher Associate Professor Marilyn Campbell will present the findings at the Youth Violence Symposium, to be held at Griffith University in Brisbane next month.

Dr Campbell said although cyber-bullying was not the most prevalent form of schoolyard torment, more research needed to be done to understand its effects on victims.

"We need to do something but it needs to be big and it needs to be funded if we're going to do something serious to reduce bullying," she said.

"Although cyber-bullying is less common, it seems to be more impactful on a young person's mental health than face-to-face bullying."

Dr Campbell said cyber-bullying had a greater potential to be more harmful because it stuck with its victims longer.

"Say you get called nasty names. You don't actually remember. It's more ephemeral," she said.

"When it's actually in the written word and especially with images the kids tell us it's much more powerful and much more hurtful."