Cyber Bullying: An Impact on Adolescents College Students
In this literature review, the author will be reviewing literature regarding cyber bullying and how it impacts upon college students. This is especially fertile ground for research because there is not much information about how such electronic aggression affects college students. The focus of most of the research has been upon younger adolescents. In such individuals, concern is widespread that new forms of electronic communication open up new avenues for aggression among young people. This subject is particularly interesting to the author. In training to be a customer service representative, this author was exposed to anecdotal data that showed that customers were more aggressive in instant messages, emails and on the phone than in person. The findings of most of the studies in the literature review really reflect anecdotal information about technology being a driving factor in electronic bullying.
A study published in the journal Violence and Victims investigated college students from official reports of electronic victimization in their friendships and in dating relationships. As the authors note, although college students have the highest percentage of technology in this area, the least is know about them. The authors examined 22 items that represented four major categories of electronic victimization, including hostility, humiliation, exclusion, and intrusiveness. 92% of participants showed that they had experienced electronic victimization in the past year. Males reported more victimization and females anticipated more distress. Females and males alike foresaw more distress in their dating relationships from electronic victimization than in their friendships. The factor of electronic victimization was closely associated with female alcohol use (even after other factors were ruled out). The focus groups focused on the context of electronic victimization and how important it was to understand the nature of individual distress (Bennett,, Guran, Ramos & Margolin, 2011, 410-411) .
In a study in the Merill-Palmer Quarterly, the authors launched a study that probed as to why adolescents victimized through peer bullying are more negatively impacted. Two models derived from theory to explain this phenomenon and were investigated. Based upon victim and suicide research, social hopelessness was examined as well as social support as protective factors. Both factors are needed to explain victimization and suicidal ideation. It was found that students in Grades 8-10 reported victimization, suicidal fantasies and hopelessness as well as in their social support networks. The reported study results showed that the factor of social hopelessness had partially mediated the relation between victimization and suicidal ideation. This suggests that a potential factor by which victimized students become suicidal is via the victimization's impact upon social hopelessness. The greater one sinks into hopelessness, the greater their risk for suicidal thoughts. Study results also indicated that it was perceived that social support buffered relations between victimization and suicidal ideation. In this way, victimized students who had a higher perceived social support from their families had reported much lower levels of suicide ideation than students who possessed a lower perceived social support (Bonanno & Hymel, 2010, 420-421).
A study in the Journal of Psychology defined cyber bullying as a form of electronic bullying. This brought much media scrutiny due to high profile cases of teen suicides in the wake of such bullying. As in our first study, media attention has provide relatively little in the way of what cyber bullying actually is. The study found that this was due to a lack of theoretical and conceptual clarity about the subject in the wake of examining similarities and differences between cyber bullying and in-person bullying. The study engages in a review about the theoretical and empirical literature that addressed cyber bullying and in-person bullying and included examples from the qualitative study to illustrate the point. The study authors then compare and contrast the individual factors that are common to cyber and in-person bullying. We then examine social information processing factors associated with in-person bullying. The study then presented a discussion similarities and differences that might characterize cyber bullying (Dooley, Pyzalski, & Cross, 2009, 182-183).
A study in the International Journal of Cyber Criminology systematically examined teenagers' perspectives abut the effectiveness of a number of cyber bullying prevention methods. Data collected originated from an America-wide survey online of high school middle school students. The study featured 713 school students who provided responses to the 39 survey questions. They were grouped into 4 broad categories by the roles that they individually played in electronic bullying, including "pure-offender," "pure-victim," "neither-offender-nor-victim," and "both-offender-and-victim." The study found a correlation between the student's role in electronic bullying and their perspective on the effectiveness of a prevention strategy. Five effective prevention strategies for the students in each of the four broad categories were analyzed. The teen students in the journal article perceived that the theme of confiscation of the offender's access to technology as the most effective preventative measure. The findings could be useful for communities and schools and communities in setting up policies and regulations to effectively retard cyber aggression (Kraft & Wang, 2009, 513-514).
A study published in the Journal of Psychology investigated the multiple occurrence of traditional bullying, traditional victimization cyber bullying and cyber victimization. In addition, the investigation analyzed whether or not students belonged to particular groups of bullies. The investigators found that 761 adolescents (49% boys) 14 -- 19 years (a median of 15.6 years) were surveyed for the test criteria. More students than were expected were totally uninvolved in any kind of aggression, more students found to be traditional bully-victims, while more students were found to be in combined categories of bullies and victims (cyber and traditional). The highest risks for poor adjustment (high scores in reactive and instrumental aggression, depressive, and somatic symptoms) were observed in students who were identified as combined bully-victims (traditional and cyber). Additionally, gender differences were also examined and found not to be statistically definitive (Gradinger & Strohmeter, 2009, 205-206).
A study in Journal Youth Adolescence drew from Agnew's social psychological strain theory of human deviance. The study investigated the issue by the testing of three hypotheses regarding the effects of traditional/cyber bullying victimization on deliberate individual self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The study data came from a school-based survey of children from a rural county of a state in the southeast. 50% of the study's subjects were female with a mean age of 15 years while non-Hispanic whites represented 66% of the sample population. The investigation's analysis revealed that both types of bullying were related to self-harm and suicide. The relationships were partially in agreement due to the negative emotions that were experienced by the bullied subjects. These relationships were only partially changed by the features of an adolescent's social environment and self-image. The study found that exposure to authoritative parenting and a high amount self-control lessened the harmful results of bullying with regard self-harm and suicide. The article then concluded by discussing the implications of the study conclusions for further research (Hay & Meldrum, 2010, 446-447).
A study in the Journal of Psychology addresses three questions. Firstly, the researchers asked how often bullying occurs in chat rooms on the Internet. Secondly, they were interested in establishing who the victims were in this bullying. Finally, they inquired as to of the causes of the victimization. The study population numbered 1700 pupils from German high schools. The investigation results disclosed a strong relationship of victimization in school and in Internet chat rooms. Such bullying happens to school victims significantly more often victims not in school. Finally, predictors of school victimization and chat display commonalities (child-parent relationship gender, self-concept, etc.) and also differences (e.g., social integration, popularity or bullying) (Katzer, Fetchenhauer & Belschak, 2009, 25-26).
In the Journal of Psychology, the authors engage in an examination of the emotional impact caused to victims of direct and indirect bullying (directly and indirectly) in the old-fashioned sense. Also, they also examined the bullying inflicted with new technologies such as the World Wide Web, PDAs and the cell phones. 1,671 young people responded to a questionnaire that asked them if they had been victimized bullying of different types and the emotional response this caused for them. The study results demonstrated that although traditional bullying had affected more significantly more people than cyber bullying, the second type had affected one in ten youngsters. An analysis of these types of emotion showed that old-fashioned bullying produced a variety of impacts, with the victims being divided into five different emotional categories, while indirect bullying and the electronic type had presented a far narrower variety of results. These victims being could be classified into just 2 groups: including those that had not been affected emotionally as well as those that simultaneously had suffered from a variety of emotions that were negative. The influences of gender, age, gender and the severity of the bullying on each emotional category were analyzed as well (Ortega, Elipe, Mora-merchan, Calmaestra, & Vega, 2009, 197-198).
A study in Aggressive Behavior studied the relationship between various cognitive factors. These were applied by people to rationalize and justify harmful…