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 RELATED LITERATURE

 METHOD

 RESULTS

 DISCUSSION

 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 References

 Full Article

 Figures & data

 References

 Citations

 Metrics

 Reprints & Permissions

 PDF

Abstract

This study explores high school students' beliefs and behaviors associated with cyberbullying.
Specifically, it examines this new phenomenon from the following four perspectives: (a) What happens
after students are cyberbullied? (b) What do students do when witnessing cyberbullying? (c) Why do
victims not report the incidents? and (d) What are students' opinions about cyberbullying? Data were
collected from 269 Grade 7 through 12 students in 5 Canadian schools. Several themes have emerged
from the analysis, which uncovers some important patterns. One finding is that over 40% would do
nothing if they were cyberbullied, and only about 1 in 10 would inform adults. Students feel reluctant to
report cyberbullying incidents to adults in schools for various reasons, which are discussed in depth.

KEYWORDS: beliefs and behaviors, bystanders, cyberbullying, cyber victim, high school students
Research Questions

This theoretical framework has guided the research design of this study, including the specific research
questions asked. As a result, addressing cyberbullying issues entails a solid understanding of each of its
components. This study seeks to understand two critical groups (students involved in cyberbullying and
their peers) and examines their beliefs and behaviors. Specifically, I was interested in the behaviors of
both cybervictims and bystanders during and after the cyberbullying incidents. Also of interest were
their opinions about cyberbullying in general and why they chose to be silent. Specifically, the following
research questions guide this exploration:

1. What happens after students are cyberbullied?

2. What do students do when they witness cyberbullying?

3. Why do cybervictims choose not to report the incidents?

4. What are students' opinions about cyberbullying?

Theoretical Perspectives

The dynamic systems theory, originating from science, provides a theoretical


framework for this study. In this view, all human systems have emerged from the
“synthesis of the interaction of its parts. A systems view suggests that the
essential quality of a part or component of a system resides in its relationship
with and contribution to the whole” (Banathy, 1994Banathy, B. H. 1994.
“Designing educational systems: Creating our future in a changing world”.
In Systemic change in education, Edited by: Reigeluth, C. M. and Garfinkle, R.
J. 27–34. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. [Google
Scholar], p. 28). The system's view, therefore, extends the research into
cyberbullying beyond examining the cyberbullying–victim interaction. Examining
cyberbullying demands the exploration of the interaction among its components
(e.g., cyberbullies, cybervictims, peers, teachers, and administrators) rather than
simply focusing on any group in isolation.

Further, the framework developed by Constantine, Curry, Diaz, and Huh-Kim


(2000Constantine, N., Curry, K., Diaz, M., & Huh-Kim, J. (2000, March). Factors
associated with aggressive behavior of rural middle school students. Paper
presented at the Eighth biennial meeting of the Society for Research on
Adolescence, Chicago, IL. Available
athttp://crahd.phi.org/papers/aggressive_behavior.pdf [Google Scholar]), building
on the theory of reasoned action, influences the design of this research. In this
framework, five construct domains—beliefs and attitudes, perceived school/home
climates, perceived self-efficacy, behavioral intentions, and behaviors—are
considered to be critically related and contributing to student actions, in this case,
actions related to cyberbullying. Therefore, students' beliefs and opinions,
whether as cyberbullies, as cyberwitnesses, or as bystanders, about
cyberbullying and their perceived school and home climates (including
bystanders' and adults' behaviors) all contribute to their actions during and after
the cyberbullying incidents.
PPENDIX CYBERBULLYING STUDENT SURVEY

This survey seeks information from students about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying includes, but is not
limited to sending angry, rude, vulgar messages about a person to an online group or to that person
electronically; or sending harmful, untrue, or cruel statements about a person to other people or
posting such material online; or pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material that
makes that person look bad; or sending or posting material about a person that contains sensitive,
private, or embarrassing information, including forwarding private messages or images, or cruelly
excluding someone from an online group. Cyberbullying might occur at home or at school, through the
Internet network or a cell phone used. Your responses to this survey are confidential . You may also
choose not to respond to this survey. By completing this survey, you are granting the researcher
permission to use this information.

Part I: About You

1. Your grade:____ Gender: ____M____F Ethnic Background (e.g., Asian): ___________

2. Do you use the Internet at home? ______Yes ______No

3. Do you use a cell phone at school? ______Yes ______No

4. On the following scale, consider A to be the best and C to be the average, your school grades are
usually (circle one):

o A………….B…………C…………D………..E

5. How often do you engage in extracurricular activities, such as band or sports teams?

o ___Never ___About once/week ___ About 2 times/week ___ About 3 times/week


___4+ times/week

Part II: Cyberbullying (Your Experience)

1. How often have you been cyberbullied? Check one that applies.

o ___ Never ___ Once/Twice ___ A few times ___Many times ___Almost every day

2. How often have you cyberbullied others? Check one that applies.

o ___Never ___Once/Twice ___A few times ___Many times ___Almost every day

3. On the following scale, check your reaction to cyberbullying


o ___No big deal ___Live with it ___Upset ___Very upset ___No opinion

4. When you are cyberbullied, you (check all that apply)

o __Do nothing

o __Tell the cyberbully to stop

o __Get away (e.g., log off) from the cyberbully

o __Cyberbully other people

o __Bully other kids

o __Tell an adult

o __Tell a friend

5. If you have been cyberbullied, what happened after you told someone?

o __It got better

o __It got worse

o __Nothing changed

o __I never told anyone.

o __I've never been cyberbullied.

6. If you have been cyberbullied, who has tried to help you? (check all that apply)

o __My parents

o __My sister(s) or brother(s)

o __A teacher or another adult at school

o __My friend(s)

o __Nobody

o __I've never been cyberbullied.

1. If you have been cyberbullied, who has tried to help you? (check all that apply)

o __My parents

o __My sister(s) or brother(s)


o __A teacher or another adult at school

o __My friend(s)

o __Nobody

o __I've never been cyberbullied.

2. Why do you think people cyberbully others? Because (circle all that apply)

o __It is cool

o __They feel insecure

o __They are angry

o __They are jealous

o __They think it's fun

o __They are mean

o __They are bored

o __They think it is a defense mechanism

o __They have family problems

o __Other, specify_______________________________________________

3. What is your feeling about people being cyberbullied?

o __They deserve it

o __It's too bad, but there is nothing we can do about it.

o __It is a very serious problem and we need to stop it.

4. I have friends who (check all that apply)

o __have bullied others

o __have been bullied by others

o __have cyberbullied others

o __have been cyberbullied by others

o __I have no friends.


Part III: Witness

1. How frequently have you been a witness to cyberbullying incidents?

o ___Never ___Once/Twice ___A few times ___Many times ___Almost every day

2. If you have been a witness to cyberbullying incidents, what is your normal response (check all
that apply)?

o __Join in

o __Cheer the cyberbully on

o __Watch or look, but do not participate

o __Leave the online environment

o __Object to others, but not directly to the cyberbully

o __Object to the cyberbully

o __Try to help or befriend the victim

o __Report the cyberbullying to someone who can help the victim

o __Have not been a witness

o __Other, specify________________________________________________

3. If you were cyberbullied at school or at home, would you report the cyberbullying to a school
counselor, teacher, or administrator?

o ____Probably yes _____Probably no

o If you answered “probably no,” what are the most important reasons why you would
probably not report (check all that apply):

 __I don't think school staff would understand or believe me

 __I don't think the school would or could do anything to stop it

 __I could get myself into trouble, because I could also be at fault

 __I could get myself into trouble, even if I had done nothing wrong

 __The cyberbully could get back at me and make things even worse

 __Other students could make fun of me


 __My parents could find out and might restrict my access to the Internet or
other technologies

 __I need to learn to deal with cyberbullying by myself

 __Cyberbullying is no big deal. People should just ignore it

 __Other, specify_________________________________________________

4. If someone was cyberbullying you at home or at school, would you tell your parent/guardian?

o ____Probably yes ____Probably no

o If you answered “probably no,” what are the most important reasons why you would
probably not report (check all that apply):

 __I don't think my parent/guardian would understand or believe me

 __I don't think my parent/guardian would know how to stop it

 __I could get myself into trouble, because I could also be at fault

 __I could get myself into trouble, even if I had done nothing wrong

 __They cyberbully could get back at me and make things even worse

 __Other students could make fun of me

 __My parents could find out and might restrict my access to the Internet or
other technologies

 __I need to learn to deal with cyberbullying by myself

 __Cyberbullying is no big deal. People should just ignore it

 __Other, specify_________________________________________________

Part IV: Your opinion

1. Please indicate your opinion to the following statements:

o Cyberbullying is a normal part of the online world. There is nothing anyone can do to
stop it.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o I know of someone who has been really hurt by cyberbullying.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree


o Things that happen online should stay online.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o If someone is being hurt by cyberbullying, it is important to tell a responsible adult.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o I would report cyberbullying incidents, if I could do so without anyone knowing it was


me.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o I have the right to say anything I want online, even if what I say hurts someone or
violates someone's privacy.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o Adults should stay out of this.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

o I would like to create a more kind and respectful online world.

 ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

2. In school, I am very popular

o ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

3. In school, I have many friends

o ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

4. I have friends who are physically strong

o ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

5. Generally speaking, I am physically stronger than my peers

o ___Strongly agree___ Agree___ Neutral ___ Disagree ___Strongly disagree

6. In your opinion, what would be the most effective way to stop cyberbullying? Specify.

Cyberbullying Defined

Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies,


such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging,
defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web
sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or
group that is intended to harm others (Belsey, 2004Belsey, B.
(2004). Cyberbullying. Retrieved fromwww.cyberbullying.ca [Google Scholar]).
According to Willard (2004aWillard, N. (2004a). An educator's guide to
cyberbullying and cyberthreats. Retrieved
fromhttp://cyberbully.org/docs/cbcteducator.pdf [Google Scholar]), cyberbullying
can take different forms, with the main forms ranging from flaming, to
harassment, to cyberstalking. The following list gives a formal definition for each
form:

 Flaming—Sending angry, rude, vulgar messages directed at a person or


persons privately or to an online group.

 Harassment—Repeatedly sending a person offensive messages.

 Cyberstalking—Harassment that include threats of harm or is highly


intimidating.

 Denigration (put-downs)— Sending or posting harmful, untrue, or cruel


statements about a person to other people.

 Masquerade—Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting


material that makes that person look bad or places that person in potential
danger.

 Outing and trickery—Sending or posting material about a person that


contains sensitive, private, or embarrassing information, including forwarding
private messages or images. Engaging in tricks to solicit embarrassing
information that is then made public.

 Exclusion—Actions that specifically and intentionally exclude a person from


an online group. (Willard, 2004bWillard, N. (2004b). Educator's guide to
cyberbullying: Addressing the harm caused by online social cruelty.Retrieved
fromhttp://www.asdk12.org/MiddleLink/AVB/bully_topics/EducatorsGuide_Cy
berbullying.pdf [Google Scholar])

Cyberbullying can occur on blogs (interactive Web journals), Web sites, in e-


mails, listservs, chats, instant messaging, and text/digital image messaging via
mobile devices. It can relate to racial, religious, and cultural biases.