Examining adolescent cyberbullying in Saskatchewan
Pisch, Diane M
In a society where adolescent technology use is a dominant presence, the potential for adolescent cyberbullying has increased. It has become a phenomenon that warrants research attention. In North America, adolescent cyberbullying research is still in the exploratory stages. Current North American research has focused on younger populations (Beran & Li, 2005; Cochrane, 2008; Li, 2005; 2006; 2007; Patchin & Hinduja, 2006). However, adolescence is a period of dramatic change that encompasses all areas of development (Arnett, 2004; Berk, 2004; Hinduja & Patchin, 2008). These factors form the basis and motivations for this research. This study explored adolescent cyberbullying in Canada with the hope of providing preliminary research attention on a serious issue. Specifically, this study explored the following questions: 1. What was the extent of cyberbullying among grade ten, eleven and twelve students in urban Saskatchewan? 2. What was the relationship between traditional bullying and cyberbullying? 3. What did the experiences of cyberbullying look like (both as a perpetrator and as a victim)? How were the victims impacted? 4. How did individuals respond to cyberbullying (as a bystander)? 5. What were the students’ opinions on adult responses to cyberbullying? Answering these questions were 476 students from one large Catholic and two large public high schools in urban Saskatchewan. Students from grade 10 and, primarily, grades 11 and 12 anonymously completed a paper-pencil questionnaire. Of these students, 44.0% disclosed they had been a victim of cyberbullying and 31.3% reported they had been a cyberbully. Two-thirds (64.5%) also admitted knowing at least one individual who had been a victim of cyberbullying. Students shared a range of negative emotions and effects that they experienced as a result of being a victim of cyberbullying. The most commonly reported were anger and sadness or hurt. Overall, significant differences in students’ experiences with cyberbullying were found between gender, grade levels, and among levels of achievement. Two-thirds (66.2%) of students also admitted telling at least one person that they had been a victim of cyberbullying. Students most often told a friend (53.8%) over telling anyone else. This was reflected in students’ overwhelming perception that adults (e.g., parents or teachers) could not prevent cyberbullying or successfully intervene when it was occurring. Students did offer ideas on possible ways of intervening or preventing cyberbullying that ranged from increased education to effective consequences.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeMcIntyre, Laureen; Morrison, Dirk; Martin, Stephanie; Claypool, Tim
Copyright DateSeptember 2010