Cyberbullying Case Study

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Introduction

The article explores the association between the involvement in traditional, cyber forms or bullying, and internalizing difficulties/ challenges. It explores many forms of victimization and aggression which are most detrimental, the traditional form of bullying or cyber bullying. It also explores which of the two has the most negative impact from bullies, victims, and bully-victims. The article investigates the association between the involvement in cyberbullying, more traditional form of bullying being either the victim of a bully and the depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation.

Methods

The methodology used in the article was the three self-report, paper and pencil measures were completed by participants. The three measures, tapping involvement in bullying, depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation. The rates of completion of all measures were found with less than .25 % of the data in total missing and 3 % of any variable having missing data. Given the low amount of missing data, the variable mean was used for imputation purposes (Tabachnick and Fidell 2001). The study sample consisted of 399 students ranging from 8-10th grade enrolled in an urban high school in southern British Columbia and out of the 399 students 228 were female and 171 were male. Students who participated in the study were predominantly Asian Canadian and most cane from an intact family and 15 percent of participants came from a single parent home. Participants received parental consent along with their agreement to participate in the study. Upon the researchers gained approval from the institutional review board and the school board research committee.

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Participants were then recruited to participate in a single group testing session lasting 50-60 minutes. After this, 48 of the participants responses indicated severe depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. Those students were offered support from their high school counselors, and all participants were given youth crisis hotlines, and other mental health resources available to them. Participants experiences with bullying, as either a perpetrator or victim, were evaluated using a 10-item self-report measure adapted (in consultation with local school staff) from self-report measures originally developed by Olweus (1993). Students were given definitions of physical bullying such as someone hitting, shoving, kicking, spitting or beating up others and electronic bullying with examples such as using a computer, email, text messages, or pictures to threaten or hurt someone’s feelings, single out, embarrass, or make someone look bad, spread rumors or reveal secrets about someone. Students were asked to indicate how often they have taken part in bullying in the past year on a 5-point scale.

The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff 1977) was used to assess symptoms of depression. This 20-item scale was developed to assess levels of depressive symptomatology and has been used extensively in previous research with both normative and clinical adolescent samples (Prinstein et al. 2001; Roberts et al. 1990), with good internal consistency (? range = .87–.92 across studies). Participants were asked to respond to a list of statements indicating some of the ways they have felt and/ or behaved in the last week. To capture variations in the complexity and severity of suicidal thoughts among victimized youth, the present study used the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire—JR (Reynolds 1987) to assess student’s thoughts about suicide over the past month. The SIQ-JR is a 15-item measure developed for use with adolescents in grades 7–9, although it may be used with older adolescents (Reynolds and Mazza 1994). Participants were asked to complete a survey, and students were asked to indicate how many times they have had felt like they wanted to kill themselves and how many times they thought killing themselves would solve a problem. The responses on the survey ranged from 0-6, 0 being never and 6 almost being every day.

Results

After researchers explored the relationship between cyber bullying and internalizing difficulties, the results indicate that cyber victimization and cyberbullying contribute to depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation that is accounted for by gender and traditional forms of victimization and bullying. In a related stud, it was found that the (Klomek et al. 2008; Smith et al. 2008; Williams and Guerra 2007), involvement in cyber bullying was found to be less frequent than other forms of bullying. A unique association has been found between internalizing problems and involvement in traditional forms of bullying (being involvement as a physical bully). Involvement in bullying is only one of the many factors contributing to depressive symptomatology and suicidal ideation among adolescents.

Conclusion

I feel as though surveys aren’t a good way of getting a true representation for what your researching because some people feel compelled to give the answer they think the researchers are looking for. Although the study used surveys, it was a good article, it opened my eyes and educated me more on bullying and what factors play into bullying. In class we talked about the fake news surrounding the 2016 presidential election and it ties to cyber bullying because the presidential candidates were basically cyberbullied by those fake news stories published all over the web about them. It also ties into media literacy and how we need to educate ourselves on how to properly discern information from being real or fake and question authority instead of liking and sharing. It ties into cyber bullying because children and teens who are bullying others through the internet are posting things online about the victims and other fellow children and teens are sharing it without a doubt.

I feel as though if kids were educated on media literacy it can help cyberbullying because they would stop and question whose spreading this information etc. and in hopes encourage others not to share the misinformation about classmates aimed to intentionally hurt them. Media literacy can’t stop cyberbullying, but there is a possibility it can help in the sense of reporting people’s profiles who are posting nasty things about fellow classmates and today we can post all sorts of blogs about people and get it shared. The spread of misinformation is everywhere, I love that the article discussed depression and suicide because they can play a huge role in bullying and the rates have increased in my opinion based off what I see in schools and my own personal experience with bullying.

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