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Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students

Authors


  • This study was funded by Bell Canada. The authors acknowledge the support of the teachers and administrators at the Toronto District School Board and the Centre for Enhancement of Jewish Education (Mercaz Toronto). The authors would also like to thank the students and their parents for participating.

concerning this article should be addressed to Faye Mishna, Factor-Intwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1V4, Canada. Electronic mail may be sent to f.mishna@utoronto.ca.

Abstract

Little research has been conducted that comprehensively examines cyber bullying with a large and diverse sample. The present study examines the prevalence, impact, and differential experience of cyber bullying among a large and diverse sample of middle and high school students (= 2,186) from a large urban center. The survey examined technology use, cyber bullying behaviors, and the psychosocial impact of bullying and being bullied. About half (49.5%) of students indicated they had been bullied online and 33.7% indicated they had bullied others online. Most bullying was perpetrated by and to friends and participants generally did not tell anyone about the bullying. Participants reported feeling angry, sad, and depressed after being bullied online. Participants bullied others online because it made them feel as though they were funny, popular, and powerful, although many indicated feeling guilty afterward. Greater attention is required to understand and reduce cyber bullying within children’s social worlds and with the support of educators and parents.

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