Cyberbullying What the research is telling us… Amanda Lenhart NetSmartz Working Group May 6, 2010 Washington, DC
Sources & Methodology
Pew: Interviewed 800 parent-child pairs in Sept 2009, 700 parent-child pairs in November 2007 and 935 parent – child pairs in Oct-Nov 2006
Teens ages 12-17
Nationally representative sample
Journal of Adolescent Health Special Issue (2007)
UNH Crimes Against Children Research Center data (YISS-1 & YISS-2) (Wolak, Finkelhor et al)
Internet Solutions for Kids (Growing up with Media)(Ybarra et al)
Hinduja & Patchin
Teen internet use basics
93% of teens 12-17 go online
63% of online teens go online daily
89% of online teens go online from home, and most of them go online from home most often
77% of teen go online at school
71% go online from friends or relatives house
60% go online from a library
27% go online on their mobile phone
76% of households with teens go online via broadband, 10% via dial up, and 12% do not have access at home.
What are teens doing online?
94% go online to do research for school assignments; 48% do so on a typical day.
81% go to websites about movies, TV shows, music groups, or sports stars
64% of online teens have created some kind of content online
62% go online to get news
57% have watched a video on a video-sharing site like YouTube or GoogleVideo
55% go online to get information about a college, university or other school that they are thinking about attending.
48% have bought something online like books, clothes or music
31% have looked online for health, dieting or physical fitness information; 17% have looked online for sensitive health information
How else are teens connecting?
75% of teens have a cell phone
No gender or race/ethnic differences in ownership
50% of teens with phones talk to friends daily
54% of teens send text messages daily
27% use their phone to go online
73% of teens use an online social network site
37% of SNS users send messages through social networks daily
80% of teens have a game console
51% of teens have a portable gaming device
Teens connect and interact with others online through games
Concerns in Online Safety Sphere
“ A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
This definition includes three important components:
1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.”
Online Harassment & Cyberbullying
Online harassment: aggressive behavior, “harm doing,” insults, denigration, impersonation, exclusion, outing, activities associated with hacking – stealing information, breaking into accounts, damaging websites, profiles etc. (Willard, 2006)
Cyberbullying: online harassment that is
repeated over time
Involves a power imbalance between a perpetrator and a victim. Power imbalance may be differences in online skills.
Other complicating factor -- perpetrators are also often victims, sometimes online, sometimes elsewhere. Internet bullying can be particularly hard to disentangle. (Willard, 2006)
What makes online harassment & bullying different?
Technology is vehicle
Persistence of content
Distributability of content
Dis-inhibition over computer-mediated communication
Pew Internet: Online Harassment
32% of online teens have experienced one of the following forms of online harassment:
15% of teens reported having private material (IM, txt, email) forwarded without permission
13% had received threatening messages
13% said someone had spread a rumor about them online
6% had someone post an embarrassing picture of them online without permission
26% of teens have been harassed via their cell phones either by voice or text
Other research shows prevalence of cyberbullying or online harassment between 9% and 33% of youth ages 10-18. (Wolak et al, 2007, Ybarra et al, 2007)
Much of the difference is definitional and depends on how the question was asked. Specific activities often yield higher levels of response than blanket definitions.
Mid-teens (ages 14-17) is the age of greatest prevalence of online harassment & bullying (Pew, 2007, Hinduja & Patchin, 2008)
Perpetrators of online bullying (similar to offline bullying) are generally the same age as their victim. (Wolak, 2007)
Frequency of bullying victimization among 11-16 year olds ( n =1,193) (Ybarra, 2009)
Online Harassment (2)
Girls, particularly older girls, report more online harassment; 38% of all online girls reported experiencing some type of harassment (Pew, 2007)
Social network users are also more likely to report online harassment – 39% of SNS users have experience it. (Pew, 2007)
But most teens (67%) think bullying & harassment happens more OFFLINE. (Pew, 2007)
Frequency of bullying victimization among 11-16 year olds by environment ( n =1,193) (Ybarra, 2009)
Online (or not) Harassment
School is by far the most common place youth report being bullied (31%) versus elsewhere (e.g., 13% online)
The prevalence rate of Internet harassment (both perpetration and victimization) appears to be stable (2006-2008) .
The majority (59%) of Internet harassment comes from other minors
Youth who report being harassed online report a myriad of concurrent psychosocial problems offline, too
Source: Michele Ybarra & colleagues work on the 2005 Youth Internet Safety Survey fielded by UNH CCRC & 2007-2008 Growing up with Media research funded by the CDC.
Why should we worry?
Bullying is broadly associated with:
Bullied teens (and often bullies themselves) have higher levels of:
Depression and other psychological problems
Delinquency / School avoidance
Poor parent/caregiver relationships
Offline victimization/sexual abuse/physical abuse
Why should we worry (2)?
Some research suggests that significant portions of teens aren’t bothered by online harassment or bullying
Research suggests that 1/3 of teens (34%) are distressed by online harassment. (Wolak et al, 2007)
Distressed = “Extremely or very upset or afraid”
Teens who are high internet users are more likely to be distressed (Wolak, 2007)
Overlap of cyberbullying & internet victimization (Ybarra, 2010)
Differences between cyberbullying & internet harassment
Cyberbullying is not more common than Internet harassment
On average (between 2007-2008): 37% were harassed, 14% were bullied online in the past year
Cyberbullying is not more damaging than Internet harassment
Among those cyberbullied, 15% report being very / extremely upset
Among those harassed, between 17-34% report being very / extremely upset
Cell phone-based harassment
75% of teens have cell phones
54% of all teens text message daily
26% have been harassed through their cell phone by voice calls or text messages
47% have sent a text message they regretted sending
And then there’s sexting – which is generally not a form of harassment itself, but when the images are shared, can lead to harassment and bullying.
No difference by gender
Oldest teens most likely to have sent
8% of 17 year olds
4% of 12 year olds
17% who pay for all the costs of the phone send sexts vs. 3% of others
Again, no gender differences and increases by age
4% of 12 year olds
20% of 16 year olds
30% of 17 year olds
Sending texts, having unlimited texting plan increases receipt
Between two romantic partners, as a part of, instead of, or as a prelude to sex – never leaves couple
Between two romantic partners – but shared with others
Between two people where at least one would like to be in a relationship – shows interest
Element of coercion for some sexting
“ When I was about 14-15 years old, I received/sent these types of pictures. Boys usually ask for them or start that type of conversation. My boyfriend, or someone I really liked asked for them. And I felt like if I didn’t do it, they wouldn’t continue to talk to me. At the time, it was no big deal. But now looking back it was definitely inappropriate and over the line.” - 17 year old girl
Somewhere between 1/10 th and 1/3 rd of teens are being bullied online
Bullying still happens more offline – at school – than online.
For the majority of teens, it isn’t distressing, but for a minority, cyberbullying is extremely serious and paired with major problems that can affect their lives, their schools and their community.
Venues for bullying have diversified, and with it comes increased visibility. But impulse behind behaviors hasn’t changed – just the vehicle.
Need more high-quality, national data on this issue.
Coordination in the definitions of cyberbullying.
When thinking about solutions, important to remember that bullying crosses boundaries – it’s everywhere that children are
Stay tuned for more work from Growing up with Media study (Ybarra - CDC) and research on cyberbullying and suicide by Hinduja & Patchin
THANK YOU Amanda Lenhart Pew Internet & American Life Project [email_address] http://www.pewinternet.org Twitter: @amanda_lenhart