Abstract

The overall aim of this study was to examine bystander behavior in cyberbullying situations. The nature of the relationship between the bystander and victim was investigated to see if there was a difference in bystanders’ choice of intervention strategy and social support technique for acquaintances and family members. Bystanders’ perceptions of cyberbullying and how those perceptions related to their choice of intervention strategy were also examined. Participants of the study included students at The College of Wooster who were reached using the email distribution technique. Those who agreed to participate in the study completed an electronic survey consisting of cyberbullying scenarios with hypothetical comments that represented bystander intervention strategies, items that embodied social support techniques, and questions inquiring about respondents’ perceptions of cyberbullying. The findings revealed that bystander intervention in cyberbullying instances was generally lacking, however respondents indicated they were likely to provide social support to comfort a victim of cyberbullying. A relationship was found between bystanders’ perceptions of cyberbullying and intervention strategy choice in that the more likely bystanders were to perceive cyberbullying as an overall topic of concern that occurs frequently in society and is as harmful as traditional bullying, the more likely they were to defend victims online.

Advisor

Johnson, Michelle

Department

Communication

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date

2016

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2016 Kasey M. Fiedler