Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Differences in Types and Technological Means by Which Mexican High Schools Students Perform Cyberbullying: Its Relationship with Traditional Bullying

Academic journal article Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Differences in Types and Technological Means by Which Mexican High Schools Students Perform Cyberbullying: Its Relationship with Traditional Bullying

Article excerpt


The aim of this study is to determine the differences between types and technological means by which Mexican high school students perform cyberbullying. The effects to perform the role of aggressor and victim in the traditional bullying were also established in the intensity of the reports of cyberbullying. It was used a random cluster sampling with 278 students selected from four high schools, to which they were given two instruments designed expressly for measuring the frequency of types of cyberbullying and the use of technological means for its realization, as well as the frequency of bullying respectively. Results showed that denigration, harassment and exclusion were reported significantly more strongly than the other types of cyberbullying, and that the most frequently used technological medium were social networks. It was also found that performing the role of aggressor (R^sup 2^=.44) or victim (R^sup 2^=.37) explained a significant portion of the variance of cyberbullying reports. It was concluded that cyberbullying is a phenomenon that can take various forms and it is related in a complex way with traditional bullying.

Keywords: cyberbullying, bullying, aggressor, victim

1. Introduction

In this study we addressed issues related to cyberbullying during adolescence, considering this stage of life is a central moment in the construction of personal identity. Although there are several factors that contribute to the adolescents' psychosocial adaptation, it has been established that the relationships they maintain with their peers are of particular importance for the development of their personality (Bradford & Bakken, 2011).

In most cases, the peer relationships during this stage of life represent opportunities for the development of cognitive, emotional and social competences. However, sometimes these relationships become negative experiences causing adverse effects on one or all those involved in a specific situation (Allen, Porter, McFarland, Boykin, & Marsh, 2007; Pokhel, Sussman, Black, & Sun, 2010).

The presence of bullying in schools is a clear example of these relationships that can sometimes become negative experiences for those involved in them. In this regard, Stephenson & Smith (2008) define bullying as a situation in which an individual or group of students intentionally harass a classmate or group of classmates. This phenomenon is characterized by: a) there is a clear difference in power between the aggressor and the victim, b) there is an express intent to inflict physical and/or emotional pain, c) repetitive character and d) has a relational nature (Goossens, Olthof, & Delkker, 2006; Olweus, 1993).

This problem of violence brings associated negative consequences for everyone involved because it has been found that victims may present difficulties in school performance and its social-emotional development, which can damage their own image, and that even in extreme cases, can lead to suicide (Coloroso, 2004; O'Brennan, Bradshaw, & Sawyer, 2009). Therefore, during their youth and adult life, aggressors present antisocial behavior in their interpersonal relationships, substance abuse, difficulty assuming responsibilities, and even psychiatric disorders (Pearce, 2008; Pepler, Jiang, Craig, & Connolly, 2008).

The increase in the accessibility and use of Technologies in Information and Communication (TIC) has led to the emergence of a new expression of violence among peers identified as cyberbullying, which is defined as an intentional aggression by a group or an individual to another or others, using for this purpose some technological means of communication (Kessel, O'Donnell, Stueve, & Coulter, 2012; Solberg, Olweus, & Endresen, 2007; William & Guerra, 2007; Willard, 2005). This type of aggression constitutes a type of violence that for being indirect is no less harmful because it has been associated with problems in victims such as: low interest in attending school, loss of concentration in class, absenteeism, emotional difficulties and in generally high levels of stress (Kessel et al. …

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