Monday, 2 April 2012

Are Cyberbullies really bullies? An investigation of reactive and proactive online aggression

an article by Danielle M. Law, Jennifer D. Shapka and Monique H. Gagné (The University of British Columbia, Vancouver) and José F. Domene (University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada) published in Computers in Human Behavior Volume 28 Issue 2 (March 2012)


Cyberbullying, or online aggression, is an issue of increasing concern, however, little research has been conducted on the motivations underlying this form of aggression.

Using a mixed-method approach, by means of survey and interview data, we explored whether online aggressive acts were motivated by proactive (intentionally aggressing to obtain a resource or a goal), and/or reactive (aggression that occurs in reaction to provocation) reasons.

Participants for the survey portion of the study included 733 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18, while a subset of 15 adolescents participated in semi-structured interviews. Factor analysis revealed that, in contrast to traditional forms of bullying, adolescents do not identify themselves according to the role they played in an internet aggressive situation (i.e. bully, victim, witness), but according to the method of aggression they used (i.e. sending mean messages, posting embarrassing photos, and developing hostile websites).

More interestingly, regression analyses demonstrated that motivations for aggressing online also varied according to method of aggression rather than role. For example, adolescents who chose to aggress by posting mean messages or posting embarrassing photos were more likely to do so for reactive reasons, while adolescents who spent time creating hostile websites did so for proactive reasons.

No comments: