Is Bullying Worse Online, or In Your Face?

Who knew? Cyber-bullying is apparently less emotionally harmful than in-person bullying.

I guess it makes sense.  Someone standing in front of you calling you a racist slur is a lot more alarming because he's in your face.  But I maintain that cyber-bullying is every bit as bad, despite the conclusion a new study came to.

Newswise.com reports that, contrary to popular belief, cyberbullying that starts and stays online is no more emotionally harmful to youngsters than harassment that only occurs in-person and may actually be less disturbing because it's likelier to be of shorter duration and not involve significant power imbalances, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Although technology-only incidents were more likely to involve large numbers of witnesses, they were least likely to involve multiple perpetrators, the study found. Also, while technology-only incidents were more likely to involve strangers or anonymous perpetrators, this appeared to be less distressing to youth than harassment by schoolmates and other known acquaintances.

"Technology-only incidents were less likely than in-person-only incidents to result in injury, involve a social power differential and to have happened a series of times," says lead researcher Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD, who is with the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. "Mixed episodes, those that involved both in-person and technology elements, were more likely than technology-only episodes to involve perpetrators who knew embarrassing things about the victim, happen a series of times, last for one month or longer, involve physical injury and start out as joking before becoming more serious. It is these mixed episodes that appear to be the most distressing to youth.”

 Many researchers and advocates have assumed that technology-based bullying would be particularly damaging to victims because online harassers can post pictures or videos, anonymously and to large audiences, and because the aggression can reach the targets any time of the day or night.

However, the new findings suggest that technology by itself does not necessarily increase the seriousness and level of distress associated with peer harassment. "Instead, data from this study indicated that factors such as duration, power imbalance, injury, sexual content, involvement of multiple perpetrators, and hate/bias comments are some of the key factors that increase youth distress," said co-author Heather Turner, PhD.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who does Donald Trump Really Hate? Himself.

Did You Know Emojis Could Do THAT?

Is It Better to Wait?