Cyber Bullying


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Presented by senior researchers from the UTS Health Psychology Unit, this lecture unravels the facts about cyber bullying. It debunks media stereotypes of perpetrators and victims, lays bare its costs to individuals and communities and offers practical pathways for solutions and healing.

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Cyber Bullying

  1. 1. CYBER BULLYING Beatings without bruises Megan Varlow & Dr Rachael Murrihy M V l D R h l M ih Clinical Psychologists Health Psychology Unit, University of Technology, Sydney lh h l f h l d
  2. 2. Seminar Overview  Case studies  What is cyber bullying?  How does cyber bullying occur?  What does the research say?  Implications for practice & future research
  3. 3. What is cyber bullying? y y g “Cyber bullying is wilful and repeated lf l d harm inflicted through the medium of g electronic text” ( (Patchin & Hinduja, 2008) j , )
  4. 4. Bullying terminology Bullying Direct Bullying Indirect (covert) bullying is... “A more subtle, often hidden, form of non A subtle hidden non- (overt) physical, aggressive behaviour aimed at inflicting harm through peer relations, friendships, feelings of acceptance & self- esteem” (Aus. Covert Bullying Prevalence Study, 2009) - Lack of any direct confrontation Cyber bullying
  5. 5. Media Attention
  6. 6. Why is cyber bullying a p y y y g problem?  Victims of traditional bullying often report increased rates of mental health problems (Field, 2007)  Long term? Allison et al. (2009) - Later in life victims experienced poorer physical and mental health than those not bullied  So far, the short-term research is indicating that the impact of cyber bullying appears to be similar to that of traditional bullying (Dehue, 2008; Pathchin & Hinjura, 2006)
  7. 7. Why is cyber bullying a p y y y g problem?  Cyber bullying can be inescapable  73% have mobile phone (ABS, 2009)  93% have access to the internet at home (ABS, 2009)  Cyber b ll i C b bullying can be anonymous b (Li, 2005)  84% of bullies knew their victim but only 31% of victims knew the identity of their bully (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004)
  8. 8. Why is cyber bullying a p y y y g problem?  Parents often lack technological skills (King, 2007).  They don’t fully understand what is going in their child’s online world  20% of 7-14 y o’s report that they have visited sites they know 7 14 y.o s they should not have visited  1 in 3 have an online friend they have never met (New Generations Survey, 2010)  Most parents set rules about internet/mobile phone use but are largely unaware of actual harassment (Dehue et al 2008) al,  Confusion over who is responsible for intervening - schools or parents?
  9. 9. Why cyber bully? y y y  Out of anger, revenge g , g  To torment others or frustration  In “self defence” self defence  For entertainment or to get a reaction  To bolster or remind people of their social  Because they’re bored standing  By accident  To right a wrong or stand up for others
  10. 10. Rates of cyber bullying y y g  HPU study (in preparation, 2010)  20% have been victims of cyber bullying (last 3 months)  Mean = 4.47 times  13% have cyber bullied others  Mean = 3.25 times
  11. 11. Prevalence of cyber bullying y y g  Annual Youth Poll (2008) ( )  Senator Natasha Stott Despoja  22% were threatened or upset by someone online.  Australian Covert Bullying Study (Cross et al., 2009)  7-10% victims of cyber b ll f b bullying in Years 4-9  Cyber bullying is an international p phenomenon – rates range from 5-25% g (NCH, 2005, Dehue, 2008, Wolak, 2007, Hinjura & Patchin, 2008)
  12. 12. Gender and cyber bullying y y g • Girls and boys cyber bully at equivalent rates (HPU, in prep 2010)  Girls Gi l  Boys B  Relational bullying  Sexual harassment  to humiliate and  Homophobic bullying ostracise other from  Sexual harassment of their friendship groups females (unwanted (Subrahmanyam et al., 2003) attention, coercion)  50% bully with friends (Subrahmanyam et al 2003) al., (Dehue, 2008 )  30% bully with friends
  13. 13. Age and cyber bullying g y y g  Cyber bullying peaks in the first few years of high school  Direct bullying declines after approx 15 y.o. y g pp y  Cyber b ll i f ll C b bullying follows this decline but not hi d li b py as steeply (Cross et al., 2009; HPU, in prep; Williams & Guerra, 2007)
  14. 14. Profiles in cyber bullying y y g BULLIES VICTIMS  School climate where  School climate where bullying is acceptable bullying is acceptable  Favourable attitude  Access to internet & no toward bullying internet monitoring at  Access to internet & no home internet monitoring at i t t it i t  Cyber b ll th C b bully others home  Report lower levels of  Bully face to face self esteem  Victim of all types of yp (Cross et al 2009; HPU in prep Williams & al., HPU, prep,Williams bullying Guerra, 2007)
  15. 15. Cyber Safety Strategies (CSS) y y g ( )  Protect your personal  Stranger Danger information principles  Keep login information  Netiquette: Would you secret do that in real life?  Only d it f i d t O l admit friends to  Think b f Thi k before you post t social networking (avoid flaming) pages  y g
  16. 16. Do students use CSS?  95% of students reported knowing about CSS. p g 40 30 cent 20 Perc 10 0 s e es er y tim ay el ev im lw ar N et e R A th m So of rt pa od (HPU, (HPU in prep 2010) go A
  17. 17. Responding to cyber bullying p g y y g Took no Told Told Avoided Spoke back Confronted Blocked p action teacher parent bully /replied /fought sender Percentage 21.7% 4.7% 13.7% 19.2% 22.2% 15.3% 52.5% of students  60% of students who took no action said the bullying either continued or got worse g  Most blocked the bully and this tended to be the most y successful action (50%), but still only a partial solution
  18. 18. Prevention programs for cyber bullying b ll ing  Lack of evaluation research on preventative p approaches to cyber bullying  Experts in field recommend strategic, comprehensive & integrated programs (Cross et al., 2009; ( l Patchin & Hinduja, 2006)  Not reinventing the wheel  Bullying programs modestly effective in decreasing bullying b ll i (Smith, 2008)
  19. 19. Whole School approach – prevention p og ams p e ention programs  Goal of programs – create a positive, supportive p g p , pp school environment.  School policy & procedures– C b Cyber use & bullying code of conduct b ll i d f d t  Encourage prosocial values and morals  Clear procedures to be followed  Adjunct to already established bullying policy
  20. 20. Training for Parents & Teachers g  Increasing awareness of extent and impact of cyber bullying  Importance of social networking sites for p g identify formation in adolescents  Familiarise with cyber safety strategies y y g  Importance of good adult role models I t f d d lt l d l
  21. 21. Training for Parents & Teachers g PARENTS TEACHERS  Rules for internet  Communicate to usage – frequency and students about school purpose policy  Parental monitoring  Follow up policy  Anti-virus software & violation filters filt  Open lines of communication
  22. 22. Training students  What constitutes cyber bullying? y y g  Empower students to deal with bullying  Turn bystanders into defenders  “Bad things continue to happen if good people do nothing nothing”  Bystander training: Trains bystanders to intervene and support victim  Conflict resolution or assertiveness skills  Empathy b ildi exercises & citizenship skills E th building i iti hi kill
  23. 23. Key to p g y program success  Research has shown that success in reducing bullying is related to the intensity of effort and persistence over time.  These intervention programs need ongoing e e s reviews  Evaluation
  24. 24. IN SUMMARY… 1 SUMMARY  Cyber bullying is:  Relatively y common → affects approximately 20% of adolescents  Difficult to escape  Constantly evolving HHarmful to mental health and development f lt t l h lth d d l t  Cyber bullies and cyber victims have very similar profiles  Cyber safety strategies are essential
  25. 25. IN SUMMARY… 2 SUMMARY  Cyber bullying interventions need to:  Be comprehensive, integrated, and take a whole p g school approach  Involve parents, teachers & students  Be delivered over time and evaluated periodically.  Research is continuing! g
  26. 26. Resources    g   p // y g /  Safety, Privacy, Help & Cyber Bullying sections of social networking sites  Shariff (2008). Cyber-Bullying: Issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home. R tl d Press: h l th l d th h Routledge P London.  Kowalski Limber & Agatston (2008) Cyber Bullying: Kowalski, (2008). Bullying in the Digital Age. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford.
  27. 27. CONTACT US Health Psychology Unit University of Technology Sydney Tel: 02 9514 4077 With thanks to the schools & students who participated in the HPU study; Rebekka Tuqiri & Anna Wallace (UTS); & Dr Jim L D Ji Lemon ( ( bi i )