Student Perceptions Of Cyberbullying Interventions Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Children Type: Essay Paper: #64816944 Related Topics: Positive And Negative Reinforcement, Teen Dating Violence, Consumer Perception, Bullying
Excerpt from Essay :

Creating Effective Interventions to Reduce or Eliminate Cyberbullying

Unit 1 MBA 5652, Research Methods

David E. Couch Jr.

The proposed research study explores the perceptions of secondary students with regard to cyberbullying interventions. The hypothesis of the study is that students' perceptions of cyberbullying will be influenced by the instructional and curricular intervention as measured by increased empathy and willingness to report or intervene when they learn about or witness cyberbullying. The research findings will be of interest to educators and parents, and it will add to the literature on interventions for cyberbullying.

Key terms: cyberbullying, bullying, interventions, student perceptions

Creating Effective Interventions to Reduce or Eliminate Cyberbullying


Cyberbullying is something new to the youth of the modern world today. In years past, bullying was something that happened within school contexts and at events that students attended where other students their age. In the contemporary high tech world, it is common for students to be online 24/7 with computers, tablets, and cell phones. There are many types of social media websites and apps that students use today to communicate and connect with peers and others (see Figure 1. Teen Use of Technology). The Common Sense Media website lists common dating applications and websites such as Omegle, MeetMe, Skout, and Tinder." (Conway 2015). Texting applications, such as Kik Messenger, ooVoo, and WhatsApp." (Conway 2015). Young people may also find out about secret apps and/or self-destructing applications, such as Snapchat, Burn Note, Whisper, and Yik Yak." (Conway 2015). A wide variety of chatting, meeting, micro-blogging applications and sites also exist, such as Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Vine." (Conway 2015).

The Cyber Bullying Research Center ( illustrates the technology that is being used by tweens and teens from 10 to 18 of age.

Figure 1. Teen Use of Technology

Source: Hinduga, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2010).

Educators have a duty to act and must work with students to develop citizenship and healthy personalities, and to improve students' self-responsibility. Educators are aptly placed to conduct interventions to alter behaviors and attitudes that are linked with victimization or bullying in person or online. There is opportunity to facilitate education programs to address the issues of bullying and victimization with students in school settings -- which is of critical importance before they become adults.

Cyberbullying vs. bullying in schools.

Experts recognize how bullying has changed from being picked on in school or in the neighborhood to being a non-stop assault that can cause an otherwise well-adjusted child to take their own life (Rice, et al., 2015). Cyberbullying can be more insidious than traditional bullying, since cyberbullying can reach wide audiences (e-mails sent to everyone at a school), can be done in most cases anonymously. Cyberbullying has received widespread media attention as students have killed themselves, often posting online before doing so with no one taking action. Anti-bulling programs exist at all levels of education, including higher education. A strength of a number of the current programs is that they include students who once bullied or harassed other students, either in person or in digital environments. The literature on bullying and cyberbulling personalities has grown right along with the problem:

"Cyberbullying perpetrators are more likely to have problems with their behavior, peer relationships, and emotions, and are less likely to be prosocial than their peers who are neither cyberbullying perpetrators nor victims of cyberbullying. Specifically, female cyberbullying perpetrators express greater anxiety and depression than their female peers who are not cyberbullying perpetrators" (Rice, et al., 2015).

Proposed Study on Bullying vs. Cyberbullying

Definitions of bullying may vary but generally the unacceptable behavior is seen as having a repetitive aspect that is perpetrated by only a few individuals -- whether students or co-workers -- and consists of a highly adverse actions or communications (Harris, 2012). Hirsch (2014) stated, "cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. By definition, it occurs among young people." Bullying can be thought of as an artifact of the existence of groups -- in other words, a long-standing problem -- whereas, cyberbullying is has only been around for a few decades -- following the trajectory of technology innovations -- and has only really been studied in the past 11 years. One of the first reported...


Ferlazzo (2010) conducted a study to ascertain the number of students who been the victims of bullying and who have bullied other students (see Figure 2. Cyberbullying Offending and Figure 3. ). Many students have been the victims of but thy have also been the one doing the bullying as well (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010). Hinduja and Patchin's (2010) study particularly contributes to the theory as it illustrates that a wide range of types of bullying exist that are just a step away from what one would think of as bullying of the in-person form.

Figure 2. Cyberbullying Offending

Source: Hinduga, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2010).

Figure 3. Cyberbullying Victimization

Source: Hinduga, S. & Patchin, J.W. (2010).

Intervention Effectiveness for the Prevention of Cyberbullying

Cultural imitation can play a powerful role in the propensity of people to behave in particular ways, a factor that research on the influence of television on the behavior of children -- especially -- and adults clearly shows (Bandura, 1961; Bandura, 1973; Centerwall, 1992; Emmons, 2013; and Philips, 1983). Bandura and other social psychologists have devoted their professional careers to understanding the influence of imitation on human behavior. Occasionally, an outstanding bit of research reveals an unappreciated association between behavior and a seemingly cultural artifact, as did the seminal research of Philips (1983), discussed below.

Much of the research conducted on the influence of television viewing took place in the period from the 1970s to 1990s, which roughly marks a heyday for TV broadcasting. According to Centerwall (1992), "All Canadian and U.S. studies of the effect of prolonged childhood exposure to television (2 years or more) demonstrate a positive relationship between earlier exposure to television and later physical aggressiveness" (Centerwall, 1992). Centerwall concluded that preadolescent childhood is the critical period for strength of effect when exposing children to television violence, and that an "aggression-enhancing" chronic effect lasted well into adolescence and even adulthood. Televised violence may have more pervasive effects than intuition or conventional wisdom would indicate.

A seminal study of the effect of mass media violence in the U.S. showed that publicized prizefights were associated with a 12.46 increase in homicide rates between 1973 and 1978 when the research was conducted (Philips, 1983). It is important to recognize that the brief and sharp increase was statistically significant, accounting for the rise in homicides after correcting for seasonal variables, secular trends, and other factors found to be extraneous (Philips, 1983). Philips concluded that the cultural approval and excitement of fans surrounding the heavyweight prizefights can serve to "stimulate fatal, aggressive behavior in some Americans (Philips, 1983).

These findings, taken together, indicate the suggestibility of human behavior and point toward interventions to reduce cyberbullying need to be directed at children and the adults who care for them and teach them (Bandura, 1961; Bandura, 1973; Centerwall, 1992; Emmons, 2013; and Philips, 1983). Indeed, a recent study published in Pediatrics, the medical journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, demonstrated that when three to five-year-olds watched television shows that emphasized empathy and cooperation rather than shows that depicted aggression, their behavior improved after just six months (Saint Louis, 2013).

By extension, cyberbullying may be viewed as harmful, aggressive behavior that is influenced by cultural sanctions, even when those sanctions are an aspect of pre-adolescent or adolescent subculture. As Emmons (2013) and Saint Louis (2013) indicate, the behavior of young children is influenced by the type of television programs they view, yet Centerwall's review conducted in 1992 points to a critical age -- a period in human lifecycle that can be likened to Lorenz' (1988) observations on imprinting. However, Bandura's social learning theory and research suggests greater degrees of fluidity do occur people's behavior. Bandura emphasized several models of learning, including observation of live models, verbal instruction models, and symbolic models. An important tenet of Bandura's theory is that learning does not always bring about changes in overt behavior, which is partly due to the importance of the mental state of the learning and the type of external (positive or negative) reinforcement and internal reinforcement (feelings of competency, pride, belonging) that is associated with the learning (Bandura, 1973; Bandura, et al., 1961).

Research Question

The research question is whether the perceptions and behaviors of middle school age students can be measurably altered through exposure to curriculum and instruction that emphasizes empathy for victims of cyberbullying, and elicits strong disfavor and a willingness to engage in whistleblowing with regard to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bandura, A., Ross, D. & Ross, S.A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through the imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.

Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Centerwall, B.S. (1992). Television and violence: The scale of the problem and where to go from here. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 267(22), Special Communication. Retrieved from

Conway, P. (2015) 15 Apps and websites kids are heading to after Facebook, common sense media.
DeVault, G. (2015). Advertising across multiple channels to a hybrid target audience. About. Retrieved from
Emmons, S. (2013). Is media violence damaging to kids? CNN. Retrieved from
Darlington, R.B. (1997). Factor analysis. Retrieved from
Ferlazzo, M. (2010). Gay Youth Reluctant to Report Cyberbullying. Iowa State University News. Retrieved from / gay-youth-reluctant-to-report-cyberbullying/.
Hirsch, L. (2014) Cyberbullying Retrieved from
Jupp, V. (2006). The SAGE dictionary of social research methods. Retrieved from
Martinez-Martin, P. (2010, February 15). Composite rating scales. Journal of Neurological Science, 289 (1-2), 7-11. Retrieved from
Philips, D.P. (1983). Impact of mass media violence on U.S. homicides. American Sociological Review, 48(4), 560-568. Retrieved from
Saint Louis, C. (2013). Certain television fare can help ease aggression in young children, study finds. Well. The New York Times. Retrieved from

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