Submission Date

7-21-2017

Document Type

Paper

Department

Media & Communication Studies

Faculty Mentor

Lynne Edwards

Project Description

This study analyzed children’s perceptions of cyberbullying in a focus group of six youths, ages 10-15. The primary goal of this research was to supplement and expand on previous cyberbullying research that focused heavily on surveys, but didn’t provide youths’ voices or perspectives (Lenhart, 2010; Wang et al., 2009). Specifically, participants were asked to share their definitions of cyberbullying, their opinions about its pervasiveness, and their thoughts about the connection between cyberbullying and self-disclosure. Findings show that children’s perceptions of cyberbullying are similar to those identified in previous, survey-based research. Participants noted the role of technology in facilitating regular bullying and the ability to remain anonymous while posting hateful comments. Although students’ perceptions were similar to previous research, there were some interesting differences, such as the emphasis that participants placed on the public nature of cyberbullying and their empathy for some bullies who may not be aware of the harm they are doing.

Comments

Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.

Supported by a National Science Foundation Research at Undergraduate Institutions (NSF RUI) grant (No. 1421896).

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