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Running Head: TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING

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Comparing the Prevalence and the Effects of Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying Emily Gray Michael Junio Diana Tohmeh California State University, Long Beach

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Chapter I: Introduction On October 16, 2006, just three weeks before her 14th birthday, Megan Meier hung herself. This case was extreme, but the events that led up to it and after this tragedy thrust a new term exclusive to this technological world, into the headlines. Using a popular social network site, Lori Drew, the mother of a teenage girl, posed as a teen boy online to harass her daughter’s rival. This harassment finally led Megan Meier to commit suicide. This would become the nation’s first cyberbullying case.

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The growing use of new technologies has created a new set of problems for teens when it comes to navigating their social lives. Many adolescents and teens alike have had to face that inevitable bully at least once in their lives, but what happens when that bully suddenly becomes a faceless entity, with no identity? Cyberbullying has added a new dimension to the already complicated life of the typical teenager. Cyberbullying can be described as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself (Smith et al., 2008). A cyberbully can be far worse than any traditional bully faced on the school playground or field. A cyberbully can use today’s technology in a cruel attempt to distribute anonymous insults through email, telephone text messaging, or even social network sites. Statistics show that approximately 40% of teens have experienced some form of electronic harassment (Kozlosky 2009). Many of those that have experienced electronic bullying, have also been victims of the traditional bully. Studies have shown that traditional bullying is still more prevalent than cyberbullying (Smith et al., 2008). Yet, how do the effects of traditional bullying compare to cyberbullying? Cases of traditional bullying usually involve either face-to face verbal abuse or physical contact, but when the bullying is done via some form of electronic

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING media, the effects can be even more devastating. In addition, there are far more forms of distributing those harmful messages including email, instant messaging, chat rooms, social

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network sites, text messages or digital media sent via cell phones, and even popular gaming sites. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to compare the prevalence and effects of cyberbullying over traditional bullying. This will be done by identifying the differences between the two and examining any possible changes in the rates between cyberbullying and traditional bullying. It appears that at this point there are still more cases of traditional bullying, but because of the rate and use of technology by adolescents and teens, cyberbullying is on the rise. In our research we hope to fill in some of the gaps of previous studies, by concentrating more on the effects of cyberbullying on the victim as compared to traditional bullying, while taking into consideration the different forms of media involved and which forms might have the greatest harmful effect on the victim. In addition, we will attempt to examine possible reasons that a cyberbully might choose a particular form of media over another as their weapon of choice. Although other studies have examined age and gender relative to cyberbullying, in this study we will examine those two factors in relation to the method of bullying, either traditional or electronic. Research Questions: 1. What are the methods of cyberbullying and traditional bullying, and is there a relationship between the two forms of bullying? 2. What effects does each form of bullying have on the victim? 3. Is there a correlation between the age of the bully and the type of bullying? 4. What are the reasons bullies choose their methods?

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Significance of the Study The advancement of technology has added a new layer to the already complex social life of a teenager, and with that advancement a new phenomenon has become widespread, Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a growing problem which is prevalent inside and outside of the school setting. The increasing number of cases that have even led to suicide, or as it is now

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called, “cyberbullicide,” is also alarming. It is also very different from traditional bullying in that the bully can remain anonymous. Not only can cyberbullies protect their identity, they can mass produce and distribute their hurtful messages, simply by pressing a button. The ability to mass produce, and at alarming speeds, indicates that more people will attempt this kind of bullying; making it incredibly important that researchers understand the effects. The significance of this study is to provide more data and information on the subject in order that parents, teachers, and other educational professionals can decide on an appropriate method of defense against such bullying, and be better equipped to counsel and educate adolescents and teens, giving them the tools they need in order to protect themselves against this growing form of harassment. Chapter II: Literature Review “Cyberbullying refers to bullying via electronic communication tools such as email, cell phone, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), instant messaging or the World Wide Web.” (Li, 2008, p. 223). During the research process, we chose articles which would help us identify the differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying and examine any possible changes in the rates between the two types. We narrowed our research in order to locate articles that highlighted this relationship and the differences between traditional bullying and cyberbullying. The research in our chosen articles was largely conducted by way of surveys and questionnaires. We used the words adolescents, cyberbullying, and traditional bullying to help us locate the

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING articles we felt would be appropriate for our study. We included “adolescents” as a key word because people of all ages have the potential to be effected by cyberbullying due to the accessibility of technology; it was important to narrow our focus so that we could adequately locate helpful articles. Furthermore, by narrowing our search to include only adolescents, we were not overwhelmed by the amount of information and were able to decide upon the most appropriate articles that would provide substantial information pertaining to our goal and research questions. Relationship between Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying There are numerous methods of cyberbullying, this poses the question; which form of cyberbullying is the most popular and why? To answer this, it is important to consider which type of technology is most frequently used by adolescents. In one study it was found that, “[…] 51% of 10-yearolds and 91% of 12-year-olds in the UK have a mobile phone” (Smith et al., 2008, p. 379). Although many adolescents use text messaging as a means of communication,

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texting was not the most popular form of cyberbullying. The receiver of a text message is able to identify the sender and therefore able to identify a cyberbully when the bullying takes place through the use of a text message. The study done by Smith et al. (2008) shows, “[…] that phone call bullying was reported most frequently” (p. 381). The bully who dials a number on a cell phone is able to block their number, making it impossible for the receiver to identify the culprit. Blocking the caller ID is another 20th Century invention that has been integrated into available technology, which only makes it easier for cyberbullies to block their identity. As the researchers, an important goal was to indentify the differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying. The cyberbully has the option of anonymity, thus, it is surprising the rates of traditional bullying are still higher than that of cyberbullying. According

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING to Ortega, Elipe, Mora-Merchan, Calmaestra, and Vega (2009), “While nearly two in ten felt themselves to be a victim of some traditional form of bullying, only one in ten had a similar

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experience via technological means such as a mobile phone or the Internet” (p. 202). Why would a bully chose traditional bullying over cyberbullying when the chances of identifying the bully are dramatically higher with traditional bullying? Often times, traditional bullies react in the moment by making fun of a person with a mental or a physical defect while cyberbullying is performed when the victim is not present. Perhaps there is a level of gratification associated with the reaction of the victim immediately after the bullying occurs. There is a significant difference between the percentage related to the occurrence of bullying and cyberbullying. In one study done by Gradinger, Strohmeier, and Spiel (2009), it was shown that, “While more than half of the students (54.7%) reported being involved in quarreling with others, only 7.6% of boys and 3.1% of girls reported being involved in cyberbullying, and only 7.1% of students reported being involved in cybervictimization” (p. 208). Another study found that, “[…] 4 of 5 students felt bullying is a problem, with 1 in 3 admitting to having bullied someone” (Pergolizzi, Richmond, Macario, Gan, Richmond, Macario, 2009, p. 270). It will be important to address the motivating factors associated with traditional and cyberbullying in our own study because there is such a drastic difference that is apparent in previous studies. Gender Differences The playground or the lunch table is often the setting where traditional bullies exemplify their emotional and even physical control. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there is often a lack of adult supervision during lunch or on the playground. A traditional bully intentionally chooses moments in which he or she will not be caught in the act of bullying. One main difference between cyberbullying and traditional bullying is that an adult can catch an adolescent in the act

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING of bullying and the bully would be unable to deny his or her actions. However, with cyberbullying, the bullying is often done discretely. The responsibility then lies on the victim to report the bully, if the victim is able to identify the bully. Through our research, we realized parent and teacher awareness is an important aspect when combating cyberbullying. According

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to a study by Slonje R. Smith (2008), “If students perceive adults to be unaware of cyberbullying they may not tend to go to them in order to receive support […]” (p. 153). This fact leads to the question, how many cybervictims are reporting cyberbullying? In a study done by Li (2008), it was found that, “Fewer than 9% of students reported that, when they were cyberbullied, they told adults such as teachers and parents” (p. 230). This is not a high percentage and only reiterates the importance of awareness. Through our own study, we hope that we can identify main factors related to cyberbullying that will help to create preventative programs which will help combat the occurrence of cyberbullying. For generations, researchers have tried to identify differences between male and females simply based on biological differences associated with gender. This study is no different. As researchers, we asked ourselves; who is doing the cyberbullying? From personal experience, males seem to partake in physical bullying (i.e.: hitting and name calling) while females partake in emotional bullying (i.e.: isolation of an individual or talking badly about an individual behind their back). Because cyberbullying is not physical, it was difficult to assume which gender would cyberbully at a higher rate. According to Li (2006), “Males were more likely to be bullies and cyberbullies than their female counterparts. In addition, female cyberbully victims were more likely to inform adults than their male counterparts” (p. 168). In our own study, it will be important to focus on the gender differences and to identify the reason why females are more likely to report cyberbullying.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Conclusion Through our research, it became clear that technology has provided adolescents with an additional bullying device. While traditional bullying is still present within schools, cyberbullying has become an undeniable problem. We were able to identify a number of differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Two main differences identified were; the rate of frequency of traditional bullying compared to that of cyberbullying and the gender most frequently associated with both traditional and cyberbullying. Chapter III: Methodology Procedure

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Prior to experimentation, the selected sample will be provided a parental consent form for participation in the study. Participants will provide information to the researchers then assigned a numeric code to identify with only the researchers granting anonymity from peers and teachers. The study will take place four months after the beginning of the school semester during the midday. Students randomly selected as participants for the study will be given a 24-question questionnaire administered by a researcher consisting of questions extracted the Revised Olewus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (BVQ) version E01-SENIOR and a modified version of the BVQ used in the Smith et al. (2008) study. This questionnaire will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete. Survey data will be collected and analyzed by the researchers. Participants identified as bullies and victims according to the questionnaire will be contacted by the researchers for a follow-up study the following week. The researchers will offer the participants and parents/guardians of the participant a compensatory $25 Target gift card.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Participants attending the follow-up study will be interviewed one-on-one with a counselor hired by the researchers. The counselor will not be associated with the school that the

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participant attends and will take place in a private room. Counselors will follow the same format for each interview including an introduction, a guarantee of confidentiality, closed-ended questions followed by open-ended questions, and finally a review of the session. Participants will be recorded for the duration of the interview and should last no longer than 15 minutes. Participants A multistage cluster sampling strategy will be used to select participants for this study. Researchers will look at three school districts (Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Orange County), randomly select three different schools (one elementary, one middle, and one high school) from each district, and randomly select one sixth-, eighth-, and tenth-grade class from each school. Random selection should help create a sample that is representative of the population of school-aged children in grades 6, 8, and 10 in southern California. The age range of children within the three grades falls into the acceptable range for which the BVQ was designed and intended to survey (grades 6 through 10). Instrumentation This study will use surveys and an interview for data collection. The researchers derived several questions from the BVQ and modified BVQ into a single 24-question questionnaire in Appendix A. Questions were formatted to fit the scope of this study. The BVQ was selected because of an established concurrent and discriminant validity (Smith et al, 2008). Questions consist of basic demographic questions, whether respondents have ever bullied others, been victimized by others or observed instances of bullying, what method was used in instances of bullying, and the perceived impact of the bullying method.

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Counselors will follow a basic guideline for introducing themselves and questioning the participant. This information can be found in Appendix B. The interview begins with the introduction of the counselor’s name, a briefing, and an assurance of confidentiality. A confirming question will be asked regarding bullying. The second question will ask what form(s) of bullying was used. The final question is an open-ended question asking for rationale behind the chosen method(s) if the participant is designated as a bully. If the participant is designated as a victim, the question is about affect. Data Analysis A Χ2 distribution will be used to compare incidence rates of bullying between the different grades. This test will demonstrate any differences in the type of bullying (cyber vs. traditional) relative to age by looking at frequencies of bullying. MANOVA will be used to test the perceived impact of each form of bullying for each grade level. Both statistical tests will use an alpha level of .05 to determine significance. Smith et al. (2008) reported that specific forms of cyberbullying, particularly phone calls, text messaging, and instant messaging, were the most prevalent and most comparable to traditional bullying, and also video clip bullying as having the strongest impact among forms of cyberbullying. A linear contrast will be performed to compare the mean perceived impact of those forms of cyberbullying to the forms of traditional bullying. Only one linear contrast will be performed, thus necessitating an alpha level of .05 to determine significance. Narrative data will be analyzed for consistency. Researchers will transcribe reasons for bullying from recordings during the interviews. Answer provided by participants to counselors will supplement the perceived impact scores provided by the BVQ.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING References Gradinger, P., Strohmeier, D., & Spiel, C. (209). Traditional bullying and cyberbullying: identification of risk groups for adjustment problems. Journal of Psychology, 217(4), 205-213. Feldman, B.J. (2007, July 11). Cyber bullying versus traditional bullying. Retrieved from http://www.surfnetkids.com/safety/cyber_bullying_versus_traditional_bullying16977.htm

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Kozlosky, R. (2009). Electronic bullying among adolescents. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 69, Retrieved from PsycINFO database. Li, Q. (2006). Cyberbullying in schools: a research of gender differences. School Psychology International, 27(2), 157-170. Li, Q. (2008). A Cross-cultural comparison of adolescents' experience related to cyberbullying. Educational Research, 50(3), 223-234. Lori drew. (2009, July 2). The New York Times, Retrieved from http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/d/lori_drew/index.html Menesini, E., & Nocentini, A. (2009). Cyberbullying definition and measurement: some critical considerations. Journal of Psychology, 217(4), 230-232. Ortega, R., Elipe, P., Mora-Merchan, J., Calmaestra, J., & Vega, E. (2009). The Emotional impact on victims of traditional bullying and cyberbullying: a study of spanish adolescents. Journal of Psychology, 217(4), 197-204. Pergolizzi, F., Richmond, D., Macario, S., Gan, Z., & Richmond, C., Macario, E. (2009). Bullying in middle schools: resultsfrom a four-school survey. Journal of School Violence, 8(3), 264-279.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Slonje, R., & Smith, PK. (2008). Cyberbullying: another main type of bullying. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49(2), 147-154.

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Smith, P.K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., & Russell, S., Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: its nature and impact on secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(4), 376-385.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Appendix A Most of the questions are about your life in and out of school in the past 4 months, that is, the period from the beginning of the school year to now. So when you answer, you should think of how it has been during the past few months and not only how it is just now.

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Before we start with questions about bullying, we will first define or explain the word bullying. We say a student is being bullied when another student, or several other students • Say mean or hurtful things or make fun of him or her and call him or her mean and hurtful names • Completely ignore or exclude him or her from their group of friends or leave him or her out of things on purpose • Hit, kick, push, shove around, or lock him or her inside a room • Tell lies or spread false rumors about him or her or send mean notes and try to make other students dislike him or her • And other hurtful things like that When we talk about bullying, these things happen repeatedly, and it is difficult for the student being bullied to defend himself or herself. We also call it bullying, when a student is teased repeatedly in a mean and hurtful way. But we don’t call it bullying when the teasing is done in a friendly and playful way. Also, it is not bullying when two students of about equal strength or power argue or fight. We also would like to look at a special kind of bullying: Cyberbullying. This includes bullying • Through text messaging • Through pictures/photos or video clips • Through phone calls (nasty, silent, etc.) • Through e-mail • In Chat rooms • Through Instant Messaging • Through Websites Bullying can happen through text messages/pictures/clips/e-mails/messages etc. sent to you, but also when text messages/pictures/clips/e-mails/messages etc. are sent to others, about you.

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Part I: Cyberbullying Text message bullying (receiving abusive text messages on your mobile phone) 1 1 2 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1

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□ Yes □ No □ □ 7

Bullying through mobile phone pictures and/or video clips (nasty pictures/photos or video clips, sent to you, or nasty pictures/photos or video clips sent to others about you) 3 1 4 Have you heard of bullying taking place through pictures or video clips in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ No □ □ 7

Bullying through phone calls (receiving nasty/upsetting or silent calls on your mobile phone) 5 1 6 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ No □ □ 7

E-mail bullying (receiving abusive e-mails to your e-mail account) 7 1 8 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ No □ □ 7

Chat room bullying (being bullied in chat room through abusive messages) 9 1 1 0 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ No □ □ 7

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Instant messaging bullying (bullying through messages on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, or similar messaging services) 1 1 1 2 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1

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□ Yes □ No □ □ 7

Website bullying (for example setting up a negative website about someone, revealing personal details, etc.) 1 3 1 4 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ □ No □ 7

Part II: Traditional Bullying Verbal bullying (say mean or hurtful thing and call him or her mean and hurtful names) 1 5 1 6 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □ Yes □ □ No □ 7

Exclusion bullying (ignoring or excluding him or her from group of friends) 1 7 1 8 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 □Yes □ □No □ 7

Physical bullying (hit, kick, push, shove around, or lock him or her inside a room) 1 9 Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your □ Yes □ No school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this 2 form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ □ □ 0 very effective, 7 = very effective) 1 7 Gossip bullying (tell lies or spread false rumors about him or her or send mean notes and try to make other students dislike him or her)

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2 1 2 2

Have you heard of bullying taking place through text messages in your school or circle of friends in the past four months? Please rate how well you think this form of bullying works (1 = not □ □ □ □ □ very effective, 7 = very effective) 1

□ Yes □ No □ □ 7

Part III: Personal Experience Now that you have read about various forms of bullying: 2 3 2 4 Have you been cyberbullied in school within the past four months? Have you been bullied in the traditional sense within the past four months? □ Yes □ No □ Yes □ No

Demographics Age: _______ Gender: Grade: M 6 F 8 10

Questionnaire ID: ____________

TRADITIONAL BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING Appendix B Interview Questions “Hello. My name is _________. I am a counselor hired for this research study regarding

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forms of bullying. Anything you say during this interview will only be used for purposes of this study. You will not be named to establish your anonymity. This interview will also be recorded for the purpose of collecting data. Do you have any questions before we begin?”

Have you bullied or been bullied by another student in the past four months?

If participant is the bully: How did you bully the other student(s)? Why did you choose this method of bullying?

If participant is the victim: How were you bullied by the other student(s)? How did this type of bullying affect you?

Allow the participant to talk freely, but keep in mind the interview should be at most 15 minutes. If the interview lasts past 13 minutes, allow your participant to conclude before summarizing the information disclosed to you. Finally, reaffirm the participant’s anonymity and thank your participant for their cooperation.