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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2013 Nov;16(11):783-7. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0275. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

"It's common sense that it's wrong": young people's perceptions and experiences of cyberbullying.

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Cyberspace Research Unit, School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire , Preston, United Kingdom .


The use of the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking sites by some young people to harass and intimidate each other has led cyberbullying to become a significant concern for parents, educators, and policy makers. The existing literature on this behavior is largely quantitative, with only a small number of qualitative studies addressing this issue. This study examined perceptions and experiences of cyberbullying in a series of 18 focus groups conducted with young people aged 9-19 in the UK. The results suggest that cyberbullying is perceived to be problematic and serious but relatively routine part of young people's online lives and interactions. The results also highlighted the influence of the characteristics of technologically mediated communication on the dynamics of the behavior. The role of anonymity in determining victim-perpetrator relationships and the seriousness of the behavior was discussed by participants, though the influence of disinhibition and inability to view the direct impact of victimization were perceived to be of greater importance. The implications of the results are discussed, and areas for future research suggested.

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