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1 Calhoun, A., & Daniels, G. (2008). Accountability in school responses to harmful incidents. Journal of School Violence,

7(4), 21-47.

2 Snakenborg, J., Van Acker, R., & Gable, R. A. (2011). Cyberbullying: Prevention and intervention to protect our children and

youth. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 55(2), 88-95.

3 Bauman, S. (2010). Cyberbullying in a rural intermediate school: An exploratory study. The Journal of Early Adolescence,

30(6), 803-833.

4 U. S. Dept. of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2015). National Crime Victimization Survey: School Crime Supplement,

2013. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.

5 Ybarra, M. L., Diener-West, M., & Leaf, P. J. (2007). Examining the overlap in Internet harassment and school bullying:

Implication for school intervention. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, S42-S50.

6 Olweus, D. (2012). Cyberbullying: An overrated phenomenon? European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(5), 520-538.

In recent years, rapidly developing technologies have allowed for the expansion

of bullying into the complex realm of cyberspace. Cyberbullying, like interpersonal

bullying, can involve both direct bullying behaviors, such as hurtful messages

that are transmitted directly from the bully to the victim, and indirect bullying

behaviors, such as spreading rumors about someone through an online forum.

2

However, there are several characteristics that make cyberbullying unique and distinguish it from

interpersonal bullying. These characteristics can include the potential for an infinite audience, an inability for the

bully to observe the immediate reaction of the victim, and the perception of anonymity on the part of the bully.

3

Despite these differences, and claims that cyberbullying is an increasingly frequent phenomenon among

youth, some research suggests that this type of bullying is an overrated, low-prevalence phenomenon. In 2013,

evidence from the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey demonstrated that

approximately 22 percent of students 12-18 years of age reported having experienced interpersonal bullying

at school during the school year and 7 percent reported being cyberbullied inside or outside of school during

the school year.

4

Furthermore, cyber targets, or cyber victims, are thought to be the same individuals who

are victims of interpersonal bullying,

5

and the impact of cyberbullying appears to be negligible if a student is

exposed to both interpersonal bullying and cyberbullying.

6

Such findings demonstrate the need to focus more on interpersonal bullying behaviors than those that

involve the realm of cyberspace. Ultimately, reducing bullying victimization in schools through the

implementation of evidence-based policies and programs to mediate bullying/victim issues can lead to a more

favorable climate for all members of the school community, especially among students. Such practices seek to

ameliorate a host of negative academic, behavioral, and psychological consequences experienced by targeted

youth, and encourage greater connectedness to the school environment, creating a place where all youth feel

welcomed and ready to learn.

22

%

PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED BULLYING AT SCHOOL

of students 12-18 years of age

.

Kirsten Hutzell, Ph.D., assistant professor of Criminal Justice and

Criminology. Her research interests include crime and delinquency

prevention, school disorder and violence, program evaluation

and research methodology, criminological theory, and restorative

justice.

17

www.lycoming.edu

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