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In a study done by Law, Danielle. M., Shapka, Jennifer. D., Hymel, Shelley., Olson, Brent., & Waterhouse, Terry. (2012) written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.
In a technology driven world, electronic aggression, appears to take on different characteristics than typical schoolyard bullying.
In two studies, researchers compared electronic aggression to traditional bullying, and adolescent’s experiences with cyberbullying.
In the first study 18,000 adolescents, grades 8–12, shared experiences with physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying as a bully and as a victim. Results showed that adolescents clearly distinguished a bully from a victim in traditional bullying. To study cyberbullying, 700 11-to-18 years olds reported their experience of cyberbullying. The adolescents recalled the methods used for the aggressive act (such as sending mean messages or posting embarrassing pictures) but students did not report the roles involved in the aggression (bully, victim, or witness). Cyberbullying allows victims to become bullies in retaliation online without fear of immediate physical threats common in traditional in-person bullying. Yet with ready public sharing of comments and embarrassing photos, cyberbullying can have even more devastating emotional consequences for victims.
The big takeaway? Let’s educate youth about how to respond with kind instead of mean humor as ‘just joking’ behavior can escalate to public bullying and have serious consequences for a victim’s mental health. wellbeing, and academic achievement.