Keynote Address On Cyber Bullying By Dr. Faye Mishna 13 Division Toronto Police School Summit 2013

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Dr. Faye Mishna is widely recognized as a leader in cyberbullying research worldwide...

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Faye Mishna, PhD, RSW
Professor & Dean
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child & Family
University of Toronto
246 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1V4
Phone: (416) 978-3255
Email: f.mishna@utoronto.ca
www.socialwork.utoronto.ca

Key points of her keynote address


1. The social media world is complex, pervasive & here to stay

2. Cyber bullying can occur on any technological device

3. Cyber bullying can include various harmful behaviours

4. Both overlap & distinctions between online & offline bullying

5. Cyber bullying can be devastating

6. Adults must be supportive & accepting toward youth regarding their technology use

7. Adults must maintain open communication to help youth with technology use & problems that may arise

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Keynote Address On Cyber Bullying By Dr. Faye Mishna 13 Division Toronto Police School Summit 2013

  1. 1. Understanding & Responding to Cyber Bullying in the Cyber World Dr. Faye Mishna, Dean Margaret & Wallace McCainFunded by Family Chair in Child & Family f.mishna@utoronto.ca January 31, 2013
  2. 2. Context of Social Media World Recent dramatic technological advances have forever changed how we communicate & interact Children & youth are sophisticated users of technology Youth acquire technological competence much faster than their parents Youth seek social connections, information, personal assistance, entertainment online
  3. 3. Social Media World: Benefits Unprecedented opportunities for communication, learning & self-exploration Access to crucial resources such as social support (Informal & formal), reduce sense of isolation Most online interactions positive/neutral Self-disclosure, social comparison, normalize feelings of distress
  4. 4. Context of Social Media World: Risks  Can reinforce negative or unhealthy views of self  Can glamorize unhealthy identities through subculture that normalizes & encourages deviant behaviour  Can provides pool of participants with low self- worth who may be vulnerable to exploitative relationships • e.g., sites for anorexia, self- injury, pedophilia, violence / terror
  5. 5. Context of Social Media World: Risks Cyber risks, through communication technologies  Bullying  Sexual solicitation or victimization  Exposure to harmful material  Pornography, violent images, hate messages When child feels safe (home, room) Those affected (youth) know much more about technology use than those who should protect (parents, educators)
  6. 6. Navigating the Social Media World Developmental characteristics & level of children & youth make them unprepared for the freedom afforded in the online world  Dependency, growth, & change  Autonomy & freedom Young people need guidance in order to make the best choices when utilizing communication technologies
  7. 7. Cyber Bullying No universal definition The use of communication & information technology to cause harm to another person  Criteria: intent to cause harm, target, power imbalance  Includes behaviours to spread rumours, hurt / threaten others, or sexually harass
  8. 8. Prevalence of Cyber Bullying Typically ranges from 10 to 35% (Agatston, Kowalski, & Limber, 2007; Hinduja & Patchin, 2008; Kowalski & Limber, 2007; Kowalski et al., 2008; Li, 2007; Williams & Guerra, 2007) Some estimates are much higher, up to 72% (Hoff & Mitchell, 2008; Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Mishna et al., 2010; Raskauskas & Stoltz, 2007)
  9. 9. What Makes Cyber Bullying Unique? Engagement with social media world is constant  Therefore cyber bullying transcends the boundaries of time & space Difficult to escape, because technology follows children & youth everywhere Can impact young people above & beyond the effects of traditional bullying
  10. 10. Mental Health Implications  Can be devastating for children & youth“Like 1000paper cuts  Is of growing concern foreating away parents, educators & societyat your soul”  Can affect many areas of child/youth’s life
  11. 11. Education & Training Adults require knowledge about the forms of cyber risk • Education to help identify & respond appropriately Education should focus on safe use of technology & harmful consequences of risky interactions
  12. 12. Assessment ConsiderationsType ofcyber risk  Types of cyber risk  Children & youth may not recognize extent of harmLevel of youthunderstanding? cyber bullying caused by  Careful use of label “cyber bullying”  Youth may not identify as targets or perpetrators of cyber bullying Labels But may be involved in cyber bullying behaviour & language?  Must use youth’s language  e.g., “drama”
  13. 13. Strategies to Address Cyber Bullying Choose strategies thoughtfully & intentionally with consideration of the context Tools in your toolbox (Walker, 2012)  Books, reports, research articles  Brochures, fact sheets, safety tips  School curriculum, webinars, tutorials  Videos, DVDs, interactive media  Youth driven prevention & intervention efforts  Conversation starters to begin talking to youth about technology use & cyber bullying
  14. 14. Strategies to Address Cyber Bullying What professionals who work with children, youth & families can do (Bauman, 2011)  Facilitate help-seeking  Encourage sensitive responses from parents  Enlist the help of police & lawyers when necessary  Create innovative ways to support youth  e.g., cyber counselling
  15. 15. What Social Workers Can Do Individual counselling with youth involved  Can be brief or longer: must be tailored  Helping youth learn different ways of interacting Youth support groups Supporting parents Advocacy at individual, community, societal levels Workshops bringing together school administrators, teachers, parents, & youth (Bauman, 2011)
  16. 16. What Parents Can Do Adult supervision of technology challenging Parents faced with accepting children’s unavoidable autonomy in cyber world, while trying to monitor activities Disclosure may be difficult because of fear of losing technological privileges Ability for youth to tell adults is critical as delaying disclosure delays receiving help Be supportive: associated with less cyber bullying Maintain open lines of communication Encourage youth to use technologies in positive ways Create environments in which children & youth feel safe disclosing cyber bullying involvement
  17. 17. Key Points The social media world is complex, pervasive & here to stay Cyber bullying can occur on any technological device Cyber bullying can include various harmful behaviours Both overlap & distinctions between online & offline bullying
  18. 18. Key Points Cyber bullying can be devastating Adults must be supportive & accepting toward youth regarding their technology use Adults must maintain open communication to help youth with technology use & problems that may arise

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