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West J Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;15(5):587-92. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2014.4.20725. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

"The internet is a mask": High School students' suggestions for preventing cyberbullying.

Author information

1
Illinois State University, Department of Psychology, Normal, Illinois.
2
Georgia State University, Department of Counseling and Psychological Services, Atlanta, Georgia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Interactions through technology have an important impact on today's youth. While some of these interactions are positive, there are concerns regarding students engaging in negative interactions like cyberbullying behaviors and the negative impact these behaviors have on others. The purpose of the current study was to explore participant suggestions for both students and adults for preventing cyberbullying incidents.

METHODS:

Forty high school students participated in individual, semi-structured interviews. Participant experiences and perceptions were coded using constant comparative methods to illustrate ways in which students and adults may prevent cyberbullying from occurring within their school and community.

RESULTS:

Students reported that peers would benefit from increasing online security, as well as becoming more aware of their cyber-surroundings. Regarding adult-provided prevention services, participants often discussed that there is little adults can do to reduce cyberbullying. Reasons included the difficulties in restricting online behaviors or providing effective consequences. However, some students did discuss the use of in-school curricula while suggesting that adults blame people rather than technology as potential ways to prevent cyberbullying.

CONCLUSION:

Findings from the current study indicate some potential ways to improve adult efforts to prevent cyberbullying. These strategies include parent/teacher training in technology and cyberbullying, interventions focused more on student behavior than technology restriction, and helping students increase their online safety and awareness.

PMID:
25157306
PMCID:
PMC4140201
DOI:
10.5811/westjem.2014.4.20725
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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