Cyberbullying at School: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Cyberbullying at School: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Joanna Lizut (Janusz Korczak Pedagogical University in Warsaw, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8076-8.ch009


It is very important to collocate the occurrence of cyberbullying with a negative school environment. School bullying is widely known to be associated with many negative indicators, including lower academic achievement, lower school satisfaction, and lower levels of attachment and involvement at school. Several studies have combined cyberbullying with negative school experiences, such as lower academic performance and negative perceptions of the school climate. Moreover, many have suggested a strong link between the climate in the school and both traditional and cyberbullying. Some recent studies have shown that people who are perpetrators of cyberbullying and those who are victims both report a worse climate in schools than others not involved in the behavior. A poor disciplinary climate is one in which students are either unaware of the rules and the consequences of violations or one in which students are unmotivated to internalize and conform to the rules because they feel that they are unfair or unimportant. Weak parental involvement implies that the parents are not involved with the student's school life; they provide no help with homework, have very little communication with teachers, and rarely assist with school activities. Having a lack of didactic pressure means that neither teachers nor students hold high expectations for their academic achievement.
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In addition to the family and the peer group, the school is an important source of influence in the process of socialization. The issues of internet use at school can be considered from several dimensions: proper use of mobile devices and computers in school, aspects of proper behavior, communication with peers and teachers in various forms, instilling appropriate educational conditions, and creating school prevention programs. We must note that:

The rapid expansion of the network, its growing presence in education and in the processes of communication, have not, in a natural way, gone together with the creation of principles, procedures and standards of conduct. The network itself, however, is accompanied by an appearance on the internet of dangerous phenomena and crime. We can talk about negative transfer of phenomena from the real world to the web, as well as the creation of entirely new categories of unfavorable phenomena and crimes. We are dealing with both technical and social hazards. (Lizut & Wrońska ed., 2018, p.6)

A properly functioning system can also provide younger generations with knowledge and skills that parents do not transmit, as well as being a place where they will improve or correct inappropriate behavior. It is expected that development and information initiatives will also be undertaken within the educational system.

Schools with a lack of clear expectations, unfair assessment processes, incorrect relations, and disturbed communications arouse frustration even among well-adapted students. Aggressive behavior shown by young people can be a reaction to what is happening on the school grounds (Espelage, Polanin & Low, 2014).

The social relations in schools are crucial – both those between teachers and students, school staff, and parents, and those between the students themselves. A review of the research undertaken by Noam and Fiore (2004) reveals that the schools which have the greatest academic success and the least problems maintaining discipline are those in which pupils feel that the teachers are close to them and treat them with respect. The perception that a school is a friendly open place where success is experienced builds the student’s trust in the environment, their sense of belonging, and their bond with the school. According to Jessor and others (1995), this bond is one of the most important factors protecting against aggression. School achievements and teacher’s appreciation increase the students’ self-esteem, confidence in their own abilities, and motivation for development (Greene, 2005).

Many studies have already been done concerning in-school bullying and school climate. According to Ma (2002), students in schools that have a good disciplinary climate and strong parental involvement are less likely to engage in bullying than those who are in schools with poor disciplinary climates. Also they have less parental involvement (Schneider, O'Donnell, Stueve & Coulter, 2012). Additionally, students may also bully less if they perceive a strong academic pressure. Disciplinary climate, parental involvement, and academic pressure are the most important components of school climate (Ma, 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

School Violence: Violence carried out in school or other educational institution. It mostly is connected with the functioning in school, relations between students and people working in schools.

School Climate: Quality and character of school life, based on rules and interactions between students, parents, and school personnel.

Protective Factors in Students’ Development: Factors positively affecting the social functioning of students, protecting against the effects of negative behaviors.

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