Cyberbullying may call for new prevention tactics

April 23, 2012
Cyberbullying may call for new prevention tactics
Existing anti-bully programs won't get through to online aggressors, researcher says.

(HealthDay) -- Cyberbullying is different than traditional bullying, and anti-bullying programs need to use specific measures to combat online aggression, a new Canadian study says.

Cyberbullying is aggression that takes place online and through text messages.

"There are currently many programs aimed at reducing bullying in schools, and I think there is an assumption that these programs deal with cyberbullying as well," Jennifer Shapka, an associate professor in the education faculty at the University of British Columbia, said in a university news release.

"What we're seeing is that kids don't equate cyberbullying with traditional forms of schoolyard bullying," Shapka said. "As such, we shouldn't assume that existing interventions will be relevant to that is happening online."

Shapka and colleagues looked at 17,000 in grades eight to 12 in Vancouver and found that 25 percent to 30 percent of them reported they had experienced or taken part in cyberbullying, while 12 percent said they had participated in or experienced schoolyard .

According to the students, however, "95 percent of what happens online was intended as a joke and only 5 percent was intended to harm," Shapka said.

"It is clear that youth are underestimating the level of harm associated with cyberbullying," she added.

The findings suggest that students play multiple roles -- as bullies, victims and witnesses -- in and "downplay the impact of it, which means that existing education and are not going to get through to them," Shapka said.

"Students need to be educated that this 'just joking' behavior has serious implications," she said.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, which ended April 17 in Vancouver.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information: The National Crime Prevention Council has more about cyberbullying.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Curcumin improves memory and mood, study says

January 23, 2018
Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin—the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color—improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related ...

Short-course treatment for combat-related PTSD offers expedited path to recovery

January 23, 2018
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and standard treatment can take months, often leaving those affected unable to work or care for their families. But, a new study demonstrated that many ...

Priming can negate stressful aspects of negative sporting environments, study finds

January 23, 2018
The scene is ubiquitous in sports: A coach yells at players, creating an environment where winning is the sole focus and mistakes are punished. New research from the University of Kansas shows that when participants find ...

Social and emotional skills linked to better student learning

January 23, 2018
Students with well-developed and adaptive social and emotional behaviours are most likely to excel in school, according to UNSW researchers in educational psychology.

Study of learning and memory problems in OCD helps young people unlock potential at school

January 22, 2018
Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to research published today. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help ...

People with prosthetic arms less affected by common illusion

January 22, 2018
People with prosthetic arms or hands do not experience the "size-weight illusion" as strongly as other people, new research shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.