Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cyberbullying - the facts

Cyberbullying has received a lot of press coverage lately but research into it is at an early stage. Two studies of secondary school pupils in London looked into cyberbullying. The first study had 92 pupils and included focus groups while the second involved 533 pupils. Both studies found cyberbullying less common than traditional bullying but still significant. It happened more often outside school than inside and phone and text message bullying were the most common forms. The impact of cyberbullying was felt to be as bad as traditional bullying. 'Happy slapping' while rarer was perceived to have a more negative impact. Most cyberbullying was done by one or a few pupils usually from the same year group; it often lasted for just a week but sometimes much longer. Being a 'cybervictim' - but not a 'cyberbully' - was correlated with Internet usage. Pupils recommended blocking/avoiding messages and telling someone as the best coping strategies but many cybervictims had told nobody about it.

Smith, Peter K. ... [et al] - Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry April 2008, 49(4), 376-385

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