Cyberbullying issues in schools: an exploratory, qualitative study from the perspective of teaching professionals

Johnson, Helen Jane (2012). Cyberbullying issues in schools: an exploratory, qualitative study from the perspective of teaching professionals. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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Cyberbullying is a relatively recent phenomenon originally coming to the forefront of the public agenda following a number of anecdotal accounts. It has been defined as “any behaviour performed through electronic or digital media by individuals or groups that repeatedly communicates hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or discomfort on others” (Tokunaga, 2010: 278). This study is designed to explore cyberbullying issues in school settings from the perspective of teaching professionals. This area is of consequence given that research focussing on face-to-face bullying has suggested that teaching professionals and school staff can have differing definitions and understandings of bullying behaviour and the high prevalence of unreported cyberbullying in schools. The participants in this research were Anti-Bullying Co-ordinators in eight schools in one Local Authority. The staff who participated were employed in a range of settings (Primary, Secondary, Middle and High schools). The views of teaching professionals were obtained using semi-structured interviews and the data were analysed using Thematic Analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The results indicate that teaching professionals are beginning to develop an understanding of issues relating to cyberbullying and acknowledge the unique features of this type of behaviour. The findings also highlight that consideration has been given to the level of involvement schools should have when dealing with cyberbullying issues. Furthermore schools are aware of the impact of this type of behaviour and have employed a range of methods to prevent and intervene in cyberbullying. However schools still require additional support to understand how to respond to this phenomenon more comprehensively.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education


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