Exploring Cyber-Bullying: a Retrospective Study of First Year University Students
This was a retrospective study of cyber-bullying. Students enrolled in a first year course were selected to provide opinions on the issue of cyber-bullying as it pertained to social networking sites and young people. A mixed methods approach was applied to this study. Questionnaires provided quantitative data, and a focus group provided data for qualitative analysis. It was evident that students felt that cyber-bullying was not as prevalent as traditional bullying; however, it was identified as a serious issue. In relation to gender, traditional bullying was considered to be a problem for boys, more than cyber-bullying, whereas for girls cyber-bullying was considered to be a problem, more than traditional bullying. Social networking sites, solely, were not common tools used in cyber-bullying. Generally cell phones or a combination of cell phones and social networking sites were used. It was determined the age group at most risk from cyber-bullying to be early high school. Raising awareness of cyber-bullying was considered essential for prevention.