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Soc Psych Lit Review

1538 words - 7 pages

Another theory argued by Bandura (1986), states that external environment mediates the acquisition and maintenance of aggression, therefore contribute to involvement in risk behaviors, such as bullying. In the case of cyber bullying, environmental factors such as the location of the computer in the home has been linked to time spent on the Internet, which in turn is linked to the likelihood of becoming a victim of cyber bullying (Cassidy et al., 2012; Mishna et al., 2012). If the computer is in private areas of the house, such as a bedroom, as compared to an open area, users are more likely to spend more time on the Internet and therefore more likely to be a cyber bully victim (Eastin, ...view middle of the document...

, 2012). For example, cyber bullying and traditional bullying both predicted internalizing difficulties and lower levels of mental health. Being a victim of both types of bullying puts students at even higher risk. Studies have shown that bully victims are four times more likely to experience depression and suicidal ideation, being five times more likely to attempt suicide (Bhat, 2008; Bonanno & Hymel, 2013). Bullying in general has also been found to contribute to anxiety, anger issues, lower self-esteem and social adjustment, and other social difficulties. However, studies show that cyber victims experience higher levels of anxiety and more social difficulties than traditional victims (Bhat, 2008; Bonanno & Hymel, 2013; Cassidy, et al., 2012). In addition to the effects of bullying in general, cyber bully victims reported significant feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and being unsafe as compared to those not involved in cyber bullying and those involved in traditional bullying (Bonanno & Hymel, 2013; Mishna et al., 2012). These feelings of hopelessness may be linked to the inescapable nature of cyber bullying, while feelings of loneliness could be linked to the unlikelihood of victims reporting the bullying compared to traditional victims, leading to a decrease in perceived social support (Terzi-Unsal and Kapci 2005). All of the above-mentioned effects of traditional and cyber bullying are linked to poor academic performance. For instance, cyber bully victims were more likely to report a higher number of detentions and skipped days of school (Ybarra, Diener-West, and Leaf, 2007). Bully victims also had higher rates of illness due to weakened immune systems and increased cortisol levels (Hazler, Carney, and Granger, 2006).
As you can see, there is a large amount of research concerning traditional and cyber bullying. However, there is still a lack of familiarity with the problem of cyber bullying in society. For example, one study found that parents were not familiar with newer forms of Internet communication such as social networks and blogs and expressed little to no concern about cyber bullying (Cassidy et al., 2012). This could be due to the fact that parents tend to underestimate the amount of time children spend on the Internet as well as their children’s involvement in cyber bullying, both as the bullies and the victims (Cassidy et al. 2012). The underestimation of involvement in cyber bullying is most likely due to the fact young people are reluctant to report incidences of cyber bullying, where 90% of youth claim to not tell their parents (Cassidy et al., 2012; Juvonen & Gross, 2008). It has been speculated that this stems from the fear of losing Internet and technology privileges (Juvonen & Gross, 2008).
As a new form of bullying, it is essential to continue research on cyber bullying in order to raise awareness and increase our understanding of the phenomena. This, in turn, will serve as an aid in not only better identifying...

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