Cyberbullying: The Dark Side of Digital Interactions

Cyberbullying: The Dark Side of Digital Interactions

Michelle F. Wright (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6246-7.ch013

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to examine cyberbullying among children and adolescents. This chapter is organized into six sections, including (1) explaining the definitions, technologies used, the role of anonymity, and prevalence rates of cyberbullying, (2) discussing the characteristics and risk factors associated with cyberbullying involvement, (3) reviewing research findings on the psychological and behavioral consequences resulting from cyberbullying involvement, (4) discussing solutions and recommendations, (5) exploring future directions, and (6) providing conclusions. The chapter will draw on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-design research methodologies from psychology, sociology, social work, and criminology.
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Background

Cyberbullying involves the use of digital technologies to hostilely and intentionally harass, embarrass, and intimidate others (Smith et al., 2013). The hostility and intentionality portions of this definition are key to defining cyberbullying, as these behaviors must include a desire to maliciously harm the victim or victims. Similar to traditional forms of face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying can sometimes include repetition and an imbalance of power. Repetition of cyberbullying acts is complex as sharing humiliating videos or text messages can be sent to the victim only, one bystander, or multiple bystanders (Bauman et al., 2013). The nature of repetition in the cyber context makes it easier for bullies to continue the cycle of cyberbullying behaviors. It is possible for cyberbullies to distribute a humiliating video or text message to one person, and then for this person to share the content additional times with other people. The people can then also share the video or text message.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collectivism: A cultural value that stressed the importance of the group over individual goals and cohesion within social groups.

Parental Mediation and Monitoring: The strategies that parents use to manage the relationship between their children and media.

Peer Attachment: The internalization of the knowledge that their peers will be available and responsive.

Individualism: The belief that each person is more important than the needs of the whole group or society.

Anxiety: A mental health disorder which includes symptoms of worry, anxiety, and/or fear that are intense enough to disrupt one’s daily activities.

Cyberbullying: Children’s and adolescents’ usage of electronic technologies to hostilely and intentionally harass, embarrass, and intimidate others.

Traditional Face-To-Face Bullying: The use of strength or influence to intimidate or physically harm someone.

Anonymity: The quality of being unknown or unacknowledged.

Loneliness: An unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship.

Peer Contagion: The transmission or transfer of deviant behavior from one adolescent to another.

Externalizing Difficulties: Includes children’s and adolescents’ failure to control their behaviors.

Provictim Attitudes: The belief that bullying is unacceptable and that defending victims is valuable.

Empathy: The ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing or feeling.

Normative Belief: Beliefs about the acceptability and tolerability of a behavior.

Parenting Style: The standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing.

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