Cyber Bullying

As I have decided to write my weekly blogs on technology in education from last week onwards, this week I will discuss what pitfalls have come with technology. I mentioned last week how much more there is to technology than what the education system actually teach. However, by teaching students more about technology we are allowing them to explore new ways of doing things, for example bullying.

Bullying is a form of violence towards another person. Bullying is often repeated with the intent to hurt the other person in some shape or form. There are different types of bullying such as physical attack, name-calling, making threats, teasing, and cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying by using mobile phones or the internet (by email, social networking sites, and instant messaging). As technology has developed so has cyber bullying with some reports stating that over half of adolescents have been victims of online bullying and it is also about the same that have been engaged in cyber bullying (Bullying Statistics). The reason could be because the bullies may believe that by doing it behind closed doors no one will find out, they are not misbehaving and causing fights in school therefore who will ever find out. The internet has given the bully an additional form of bullying (Kozlosky, 2009).

A study that was conducted by Kozlosky (2009) collected anonymous self-report questionnaires about traditional and electronic bullying off 2,337 students in grades 6 to 12. They found that 40% of the students reported that they had experienced some form of electronic bullying over the past few months. They also found that the most common form of cyber bullying was through instant messaging. The survey also discovered that 22% of the sample feared being bullied electronically. These statistics are alarming and schools need to prevent and tackle bullying from an early age.

In Finland there is a program called KiVa, which is an anti-bullying evidence based program that tackles and prevents bullying. Previous research has shown that teachers and students do not share the same definition of bullying (Maunder et al., 2010). In a KiVa school the definition is clearly stated to both students and teachers and everyone is made aware that a KiVa school is an anti-bullying school. The program began in 2009 and after the first year both bullying and victimisation had significantly reduced (Kärnä et al., 2011). KiVa has also significantly reduced both peer- and self-reported bullying (Kärnä et al., 2011). The program has been so successful in targeting and reducing bullying it is now being used in 90% of schools in Finland. This is great news as bullying can cause so many problems such as anxiety, social exclusion, and low academic motivation. Funding has now been provided to run the program in 22 schools across Wales, a pilot study was run last year which included thirteen Welsh and four Cheshire schools. This program will hopefully have the same success as it has had in Finland and will hopefully reduce and prevent bullying in Wales.



Bullying Statistics (n.d.). Cyber bullying statistics. Retrieved from

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to Scale: A nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for comprehensive schools. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 796-805.

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa anti-bullying program; Grades 4-6. Child Development, 82, 311-330.

Kozlosky, R. (2009). Electronic bullying among adolescents. ProQuest Information and Learning, 69. Retrieved from

Maunder, R. E., Harrop, A., & Tattersall, A. J. (2010). Pupil and staff perceptions of bullying in secondary schools: Comparing behavioural deinitions and their perceived seriousness. Educational Research, 52(3), 263-282. doi:10.1080/00131881.2010.504062



About psp2cb

Masters psychology student in Bangor University.

5 responses to “Cyber Bullying”

  1. psuf3c says :

    Cyber bullying is something that is on the increase, not just in schools but in all areas of society. Bullying is prominent in sports teams, politics and the work place. But how can we change it? One article suggests that instead of introducing more laws and legislations we should be teaching children from a young age about the effects of bullying, what constitutes as bullying and promote healthy relationships (Mahoney, 2013). The majority of children do not realise that what they are doing is wrong. With children as young as 7 being on social networking such as Facebook; they aren’t to know that what they are saying could come across as bullying. Children are not always aware of the consequences of their behaviour and being allowed to go on technology without adult supervision can have dire penalties.
    The Department for Education (Department of Education, 2013)sets out prevention and response strategies as part of their behaviour policy. The document outlines the government’s approach to bullying, legal obligations and powers to overcome bullying. However, it does not set out to teach children about the effects of bullying or ways to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. It allows for interventions to be put into place once the bullying has taken place or in order to stop the bullying.
    In my opinion, with technology becoming more prominent in both education and society, children should be taught the consequences of what could happen and told the dangers. Children need to be taught self-regulation in terms of behaviours and emotions. Schools should have a role in helping to develop social competence in children; this should also be reinforced at home by parents before they allow their children to become more immersed in the online world.


    Department of Education. (2013, August 22). Department for Education. Retrieved from Preventing and Tackling bullying:

    Mahoney, J. (2013, September 26). Better Education can combat bullying, not legislation . Retrieved from The Globe and Mail:

  2. hcrettie says :

    As one might expect, cyber-bullies are often bullies in real life. This allows holistic bullying programmes to be used to tackle bullying in its entirety (Li, 2007), such as KIVA. However a significant difference with cyber-bullying is the issue of anonymity (Li, 2007). This should be specifically addressed in interventions by ensuring students are aware of the consequences of cyber-bullying, and training teachers to become knowledgeable of internet sites (Bhat, 2008). Therefore although generic bullying programmes such as KIVA can be used to tackle cyber-bullying, some specific alterations should be made.

    The ethical question that arises when discussing tackling cyber-bullying in schools is ‘Is this the schools problem?’ (Campbell, 2005). Cyber-bullying will mainly occur out of school hours, and some may argue that the involvement of schools is preventing students’ freedom of speech (Shariff, 2008). On the contrary, the effects of cyber-bullying are often evident in the school environment, therefore should be addressed (Bhat, 2008). Parents should also be involved in tackling cyber-bullying due to its prevalence when the child is at home (Bhat, 2008). Ideally, a holistic programme that addresses all areas of bullying and involves students, teachers and parents, should help improve this pitfall within technology.

    Bhat, C. S. (2008). Cyber bullying: Overview and strategies for school counsellors, guidance officers, and all school personnel. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 18(1), 53-66.
    Campbell, M. A. (2005). Cyber bullying: An old problem in a new guise?.Australian journal of Guidance and Counselling, 15(1), 68-76.
    Li, Q. (2007). New bottle but old wine: A research of cyberbullying in schools.Computers in human behavior, 23(4), 1777-1791.
    Shariff, S. (2008). Cyber-bullying: Issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home. Routledge.

  3. naomihogben says :

    Bullying effects victims in multiple way, even more so now that the bullying can continue into students home life. Research reveals that victims of cyber-bullying are likely to achieve low academic achievement (Beran, Hughes & Lupart, 2008). This highlights how cyber-bullying not only effect self-esteem, it also negatively impacts students grades indicating a need for more interventions to help prevent cyber-bullying before it damages students academic achievement. Furthermore, Faryadi (2011) found that cyber-bulling effecting undergraduate students emotionally, caused physiological stress and negatively effects their grades. This indicates that cyber-bullying is a huge issue throughout education from primary school to university. However, I do not believe bullying is an issue purely for teachers and schools to deal with, cyber-bullying generally happens outside of school which is where parents also need to intervene to prevent the bullying from taking place.

    Beran, T.N. Hughes, G. & Lupart, J. (2008). A model of achievement and bullying: Analyses of the Canadian national longitudinal survey of children and youth data.
    Faryadi, Q. (2011). Cyber-bullying and academic performance. Journal of international computational engineering research, 1, 2250-3005.

  4. psue68 says :

    Hi there, your blog is very well-written, and you have mentioned different types of bullying and students’ responses to bullying, as well as a specific focus on cyberbullying and its solution. Here I would like to address one issue aside from the information in your blog: demonstrate how parents and students can prevent cyber bullying from happening.

    While technology appears to be the key factor for the facilitation of cyberbullying (Menesini et al., 2012), it is also necessary to identify the successful responses from both students and parents towards any types of bullying. Bullying through internet is a difficult thing to be stopped by the victims themselves, and I believe teaching them how to face the problem would be another approach apart from changing the school culture. The ineffective coping strategies implemented by students varied from online retaliation to physical retaliatory, which also leads them to bad mental health and elicit inappropriate thinking (Juvonen & Gross, 2008; Price & Dalgleish, 2010). Perren et al. (2012) suggested that students could combat cyber bullying by blocking contact technically, deleting unpleasant messages, ignoring and seeking for help; whereas the role of parents and friends are to provide emotional support to victims. Besides, Livingstone et al. (2011) suggested parents to ban certain websites and restrict the amount of time that their children can spend online, because it can reduce the risk of being cyberbullied.

    The cooperation between students and parents can largely help to prevent cyberbullying, in which the students’ willingness to seek for support is the determinative factor (Hoff & Mitchell, 2009; Stacey, 2009). It is reported by the above research that students have a fear of losing privileges when they seek for helps from parents, such as limiting the usage of mobile phones and internet access. Yet another reason is that parents may not be familiar with the cyberspace themselves, and they become helpless to solve the situation. Under this condition, students will usually suggest to ask for support from teachers; whereas some researchers found that students have a negative opinion on the helpfulness of teachers, because teachers usually do not react to the incident (DiBasilio, 2008; Hoff & Mitchell, 2009).

    Apart from the preventions of bullying, I am really interested in the teaching curriculum of Kiva program and decided to have a brief view on it. Salmivalli, Karna and Poskiparta (2011) elaborated how the Kiva program works, and starting from primary school, students have to involve in lessons that having discussion (topics related to group interaction and pressure) and video watching in small groups, as well as playing an anti-bullying computer game. When students go up to secondary school, the program provides a theme for students to talk about in a forum. In order to enhance teachers’ sense of cyberbullying activities, they are required to wear anti-bullying vests in the supervision time. More specifically, an intervention between victims and bullies is designed to reduce bullying, with some selected peers to support the victim. Teachers have regular meeting with the selected supporters of the victims to follow the situation. As we can see that the Finland educators elaborate a flawless design to supervise the interrelationship between victims, bullies, supporters of victims, and teachers, and no more avoiding the problem! Therefore their program successfully increase the awareness of acceptance between individuals.

    1. DiBasilio, A. (2008). Reducing Bullying in Middle School Students through the Use of Student-Leaders. M. A. Dissertation, Saint Xavier University.
    2. Hoff, D. L., & Mitchell, S. N., (2009). Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Offending and Victimisation. Deviant Behavior, 29, 129-56.
    3. Juvonen, J., & Gross, E. F., (2008). Extending the School Grounds? Bullying Experiences in Cyberspace. Journal of School Health, 78, 496-505.
    4. Menesini, Ersilia, A Nocentini, Anja Schultze-Krumbholz, Herbert Scheitauer, Ann Frisen, Sofia Berne, Juan Calmaestra, Catherine Blaya, and Piret Luik 2012. Cyberbullying Definition among Adolescents: A Comparison across Six European Countries. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, in press.
    5. Perren, S., Corcoran, L., Cowie, H., Dehue, F., Garcia, D. J., Sevcikova,A., Tsatsou, P. & Vollink, T. (2012). Tackling Cyberbullying: Review of Empirical Evidence Regarding Successful Responses by Students, Parents, and Schools. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 2, 283-293.
    6. Price, M., & Dalgleish, J. (2010). Cyberbullying: Experiences, Impacts and Coping Strategies as Described by Australian Young People. Youth Studies Australia, 29, 51-59.
    7. Salmivalli, C., Karna, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2011). Counteracting bullying in Finland: The KiVa program and its effects on different forms of being bullied. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(5), 405-411.
    8. Stacey, E. (2009). Research into Cyberbullying: Student Perspectives on Cybersafe Learning Environments. Informatics in Education, 8, 115-30.

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