Monday, 27 July 2015

An investigation into the prevalence of cyberbullying among students aged 16–19 in post-compulsory education

an article by Dean West (Centre for Education Studies, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK) published in Research in Post-Compulsory Education Volume 20 Issue 1 (March 2015)


Young people in society are able to use information and communication technology with ease and exploit the opportunities and benefits of social interaction that has become ingrained in their daily routines. However, as the use of technology has risen, so too has its misuse to harm others.

The phenomena of bullying and, more recently, cyberbullying, continue to be of interest to scholars, practitioners and policy makers. To date, the vast majority of research into bullying and cyberbullying has been contained to compulsory education contexts, leaving a dearth of literature in post-compulsory education.

The present study explores cyberbullying in the context of post-16 education in England and reports prevalence levels of perpetration and victimisation. The data presented are part of a larger research project that considers other aspects of cyberbullying such as reasons for cyberbullying, groups disproportionately involved in cyberbullying and the impact that cyberbullying has on feelings, learning and social integration.

The results of some of these areas are outlined briefly and do not feature as the focus of this article due to word limits. Previous research on cyberbullying is considered, including a brief outline of key concepts such as the definition and criteria of bullying and cyberbullying.

An online questionnaire was used to collect data from 5,690 students from 41 colleges. The results show that 7.9% of those aged 16–19 who study in colleges in England reported being victims of cyberbullying and 1.9% admitted cyberbullying others.

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