Online harassment and cyber-bullying within the school context


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  • E.g., after adjusting for all other influential characteristics, Female aggressor-only youth are 4 times as likely to also report rule-breaking problems whereas aggressor-victim youth are 6 times as likely to also report rule breaking-problems.
  • 28% report 31-1hour 24% report half hour or less 22% report 1-2 hours
  • 56% attending school at time of survey
  • 56% attending school at time of survey
  • Defined by C grades or lower on average (9%)
  • Defined by one or more suspension/expulsions (25% of the sample)
  • Defined by one or more suspension/expulsions (25% of the sample)
  • Coercive discipline defined by scores in the 75% quartile
  • Defined by scores in the 75 th quartile range
  • Defined by scores in the 75 th quartile range
  • You don’t know the answer unless you ask – it’s a strength that we have this data and are able to analyze it’s influence
  • Note that to be at risk, you have to have the exposure – i.e., internet use
  • Online harassment and cyber-bullying within the school context

    1. 1. Online harassment and cyber-bullying within the school contextMichele L Ybarra MPH PhDInternet Solutions for Kids, Inc.Philip J Leaf PhDMarie Diener West PhDJohns Hopkins School of Public HealthMerle Hamburger PhDNational Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDCInternational Conference on Cyberspace, Faculty of Law, Masaryk University,November 24-25 2006, Brno, Czech Republic* Thank you for your interest in this presentation.  Please notethat analyses included herein are preliminary.  More recent,finalized analyses can be found in: Ybarra, M., Diener-West, M., &Leaf, P. Examining the overlap in Internet harassment and schoolbullying: Implications for school Intervention. J Adolesc Health.2007;41:S42-S52., or by contacting CiPHR for further information.
    2. 2. Background An estimated 97% of youth use the Internet inUSA (Lenhart, Madden & Hitlin, 2005; USC Annenberg School Center for theDigital Future, 2005). Internet harassment measured by the YouthInternet Safety Surveys (YISS) has increasedfrom 6% in 1999 to 9% in 2005 (Mitchell, Wolak, Finkelhor,2006). 39% of YISS-2 youth who are harassed reportfeeling very/extremely upset or afraid because ofthe incident (Ybarra, Mitchell, Wolak, Finkelhor, 2006)
    3. 3. BackgroundBehavior and psychosocial problems have beennoted for youth involved in Internet harassment. Targets of Internet harassment: Social problems (Ybarra, Mitchell, Wolak, Finkelhor, 2006) Interpersonal victimization (Ybarra, Mitchell, Wolak, Finkelhor, 2006) Depressive symptomatology among boys (Ybarra, 2004) Instigators of Internet harassment: Rule breaking problems (Ybarra & Mitchell, under review) Physical / sexual abuse for girls (Ybarra & Mitchell, under review) Poor emotional bond with caregiver (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004) Alcohol and cigarette use (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004) Low school commitment (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004)
    4. 4. BackgroundAs with bully/victims (Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2000; Haynie et al., 2001;Forero et al., 1999), Internet harassmentaggressor/targets: Share more characteristics with aggressor-only than victim-only youth (Ybarra & Mitchell, under review;Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004) Commonly have the strongest associationwith psychosocial challenges as compared tovictim-only and aggressor-only youth (Ybarra &Mitchell, under review; Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004)
    5. 5. Problem StatementSchool professionals are wrestling with how to support youth who are being targetedby Internet harassment, because it’s occurring off school grounds but can affectschool functioning.While logical to assume an overlap in bullying behavior at school and online, theextent to which this is the case is yet unreported. Furthermore, beyondanecdotal reports, little is know about the influence that Internet harassment mayhave on school functioning.To address these issues, we will examine: The possible overlap between online and school harassment;and The association between Internet harassment and schoolfunctioningWe will also examine more general associations between Internetharassment and caregiver-child relationships to inform futureintervention targeting
    6. 6. Growing up with Media Methodology 1,608 households (one caregiver, one child)were surveyed online Eligibility criteria: Youth: Between the ages of 10-15 years Use the Internet at least once a month for the last 6 months English speaking Adult Be a member of the Harris Poll Online (HPOL) opt-in panel Be a resident in the USA (HPOL has members internationally) Be the most (or equally) knowledgeable of the youth’s mediause in the home English speaking
    7. 7. Harris Poll On Line HPOL data is consistently comparable to data thathas been obtained from random telephone samplesof general populations when sampling and weightingis applied. In general, panelists are invited to participate insurveys no more frequently than once every threeweeks.
    8. 8. Growing up with Media Data Methods Sample selection was stratified based on youth age andsex. A balance between “novice” and “experienced” surveyparticipants was forced through additional stratification. On average, the adult survey took 5 minutes and theyouth survey took 20 minutes Study was conducted between August and September,2006 Analyses Stata 9 software used, with weighting and stratification variables specified Don’t know answers were coded as ‘symptom absent’
    9. 9. Youth characteristicsDemographic characteristics: 48% Female 71% White, 13% Black, 9% Mixed, 7% Other 19% Hispanic Mean age: 12.6 years (SE: 0.5) Median time spent online / day for activitiesother than email: 31 minutes – 1 hour
    10. 10. Youth characteristicsSchool characteristics: Median grade in school: 8thgrade 90% attend public school, 7% private school, 3%home-schooled School functioning: 22% have had detention or been suspended in thepast year (3% 8 or more times) Median grades: Mostly A’s and B’s (9% reportmostly C’s and D’s or poorer) 3% have carried a weapon to school in the last 30days
    11. 11. Youth characteristicsParent child relationships: General monitoring: 3.0 (0.5) Know where child is when not at home Know who child is with when not at home Emotional bond: 4.2 (0.6) Tell caregiver when sad Frequency of having fun together Coercive discipline: 5.4 (0.5) Take away privileges Yell at child(M: SE) [Range:2-10], Higher score reflects worse relationship
    12. 12. Defining Internet harassment Someone made a rude or mean comment tome online. Someone spread rumours about me online,whether they were true or not. Someone made a threatening or aggressivecomment to me online.
    13. 13. Frequency of Internet harassmentTargeting in the previous year (n=1,608)FrequencyType of harassmentMade rude ormeancommentsSpreadrumors aboutmeThreatening /aggressivecommentRude / meanTXTDaily 0.6% (13) 0.4% (7) 0.4% (7) 2.3% (7)Weekly 2.4% (30) 1.1% (12) 1.0% (14) 2.8% (12)Monthly 4.9% (68) 1.2% (19) 2.3% (30) 2.3% (8)Less Frequently 23.2% (349) 11.1% (167) 9.9% (143) 19.4% (71)Never 68.2% (1136) 85.5% (1389) 85.7% (1401) 72.1% (289)Decline to answer 0.7% (12) 0.7% (14) 0.8% (13) 1.1% (1)Data are weighted for demographic characteristics and attitudinal variables
    14. 14. Overlap of targeting by rumors andthreatening / aggressive commentsData are weighted for demographic characteristics and attitudinal variables13%1%2%6%5%0% 6%66%NoneMean onlyRumor onlyThreat onlyMean+RumorMean+ThreatRumor+ThreatAll 3General prevalence rates:•Mean/rude comments: 31%•Rumors: 14%•Threatening/aggressive comments: 14%
    15. 15. Overlap of online and school bullying:Mean / rude comments26%11%10% 10%30%64%20%14%14%2%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%At least weekely (n=43) Less frequently (n=417)Yes, same peopleNo, different peopleNo, not bullied at schoolDont know whose harassing me onlineDecline to answerFrequency of Internet harassment (Data are weighted)
    16. 16. Overlap of online and school bullying:Rumors19%24%4%9%71%59%6% 8%0% 0%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%At least weekely (n=19) Less frequently (n=186)Yes, same peopleNo, different peopleNo, not bullied at schoolDont know whose harassing me onlineDecline to answerFrequency of Internet harassment (Data are weighted)
    17. 17. Overlap of online and school bullying:Threatening/aggressive comments19%16%13% 11%44%57%17%14%6%1%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%At least weekely (n=21) Less frequently (n=173)Yes, same peopleNo, different peopleNo, not bullied at schoolDont know whose harassing me onlineDecline to answerFrequency of Internet harassment (Data are weighted)
    18. 18. School functioning: Poor academicperformance9% 9% 8%7%9%13%25%15% 15%0%5%10%15%20%25%30%Mean / rudecomments*Spread rumors Threatening /aggressivecommentsNever targetedTargeted less frequentlyTargeted at least weekly`*p<.05; Data are weighted
    19. 19. School functioning: Behaviorproblems20% 22% 21%26% 25%30%49% 48%73%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Mean / rudecomments**Spread rumors Threatening /aggressivecomments***Never targetedTargeted less freqeuntlyTargeted weekly***p<.001; **p<.01; Data are weighted
    20. 20. School functioning: Carried a weaponto school in the last 30 days1% 1% 2%4%9% 7%21%50%42%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Mean / rudecomments**Spreadrumors***Threatening /aggressivecomments***Never targetedTargeted less freqeuntlyTargeted weekly***p<.001
    21. 21. Parent-child relationships: Coercivediscipline13% 14% 14%18% 18% 15%21%29%25%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Mean / rudecommentsSpread rumors Threatening /aggressivecommentsNever targetedTargeted less freqeuntlyTargeted weeklyAll relationships not statistically significant
    22. 22. Parent-child relationships: Poormonitoring26% 27% 27%36%40%45%46%58%51%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Mean / rudecomments**Spread rumors** Threatening /aggressivecomments***Never targetedTargeted less freqeuntlyTargeted weekly***p<.001; **p<.01
    23. 23. Parent-child relationships: Pooremotional bond32% 34% 34%45%51% 51%60%68%61%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Mean / rudecomments***Spread rumors** Threatening /aggressivecomments**Never targetedTargeted less freqeuntlyTargeted weekly***p<.0001; **p<.01
    24. 24. Summary34% of youth report being the target of sometype of Internet harassment at least once inthe previous year: 31% report mean / rude comments 14% having rumors spread about them 14% report threatening / aggressivecomments
    25. 25. SummaryAmong all youth: 17% report 1 type, 18% report more than 1type of Internet harassment queried Depending on harassment type, 1.4 – 3.0%of all youth report being targeted weekly ormore frequently
    26. 26. SummaryWhile some overlap exists, it appears that themajority of youth harassed online are notbullied at school: 64% of youth reporting weekly mean / rudecomments 77% of youth reporting weekly rumors spread aboutthem 68% of youth reporting weeklythreatening/aggressive commentsDo not report being bullied at school
    27. 27. SummaryHarassment on the Internet – especially weekly– appears to be related to school: Behavior problems Weapon carrying
    28. 28. SummaryIncreasing frequency in Internet harassment isassociated with increasing youth report of: Poor parental monitoring Poor emotional bond
    29. 29. LimitationsRespondents were not observed during thedata collection process.It is possible that: Children were monitored by their parents, or Parents completed the youth survey. 22% of youth reported that someone was in the room closeenough to see the screen when they completed the survey.
    30. 30. Limitations Findings are relevant to households where boththe child and the adult use the Internet. Generalpopulation findings may yield differentfrequencies. The definition of Internet harassment is still beingdetermined. Findings should be compared toother studies within the context of possibledifferences in measures and time periods.
    31. 31. ImplicationsThe concurrence of Internet harassment andschool bullying appears relatively lowBeing the target of Internet harassment may beassociated with one’s behavior in the schoolsetting.Youth harassed online may not have a positiverelationship with their caregiver. Additionalintervention/education targets should beincluded in intervention programs