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The rising threat of cyberhate for young people around the globe

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The rising threat of cyberhate for young people around the globe

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This chapter reviews the theoretical frameworks and current empirical findings on cyberhate and its impact on children and adolescents. We draw on the sparse empirical literature on the topic and add insights gleaned from closely related lines of inquiry, such as cyberbullying. We focus on the dilemma posed by our First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and the dangers to our youth posed by exposure to cyberhate. We emphasize the importance of directing attention to this topic by researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to protect our youth from this serious online risk.

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In this paper we present the results of a systematic review aimed at investigating what the literature reports on cyberbullying and cyberhate, whether and to what extent the connection between the two phenomena is made explicit, and whether it is possible to identify overlapping factors in the description of the phenomena. Specifically, for each of the 24 selected papers, we have identified the predictors of cyberbullying behaviors and the consequences of cyberbullying acts on the victims; the same analysis has been carried out with reference to cyberhate. Then, by comparing what emerged from the literature on cyberbullying with what emerged from the literature on cyberhate, we verify to what extent the two phenomena overlap in terms of predictors and consequences. Results show that the cyberhate issue related to adolescents is less investigated than cyberbullying, and most of the papers focusing on one of them do not refer to the other. Nevertheless, by comparing the predictors and outcomes of cyberbullying and cyberhate as reported in the literature, an overlap between the two concepts emerges, with reference to: the parent-child relationship to reduce the risk of cyber-aggression; the link between sexuality and cyber-attacks; the protective role of the families and of good quality friendship relationships; the impact of cyberbullying and cyberhate on adolescents' individuals' well-being and emotions; meaningful analogies between the coping strategies put in practice by victims of cyberbullying and cyberhate. We argue that the results of this review can stimulate a holistic approach for future studies on cyberbullying and cyberhate where the two phenomena are analyzed as two interlinked instances of cyber-aggression. Similarly, prevention and intervention programs on a responsible and safe use of social media should refer to both cyberbullying and cyberhate issues, as they share many predictors as well as consequences on adolescents' wellbeing, thus making it diminishing to afford them separately. Systematic Review Registration http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO , identifier: CRD42021239461.
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Online hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material or how adolescents cope with this newly emerging online risk. Thus, we sought to better understand the relationship between a bystander to and perpetrator of online hate, and the moderating effects of problem-focused coping strategies (e.g., assertive, technical coping) within this relationship. Self-report questionnaires on witnessing and committing online hate and assertive and technical coping were completed by 6829 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age from eight countries. The results showed that increases in witnessing online hate were positively related to being a perpetrator of online hate. Assertive and technical coping strategies were negatively related with perpetrating online hate. Bystanders of online hate reported fewer instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported higher levels of assertive and technical coping strategies, and more frequent instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported lower levels of assertive and technical coping strategies. In conclusion, our findings suggest that, if effective, prevention and intervention programs that target online hate should consider educating young people about problem-focused coping strategies, self-assertiveness, and media skills. Implications for future research are discussed.
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While the Internet offers many opportunities to access information, training and communication, it has created new grounds for risks, threats and harm. With the rise of populism and extremism, new forms of cyberbullying emerge, more specifically cyberhate. The Internet has become a privileged tool to disseminate hatred, based on racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and islamophobia. Organized groups use the internet as a dissemination tool for their ideas, to build collective identity and to recruit young people. The presence of these groups has been facilitated worldwide thanks to technology. Yet, little attention has been granted to the way the Internet eases the activities of individuals who promote and propagate hate online. The role they play in spreading racism, xenophobia and bigotry is paramount as they regularly comment online about news and events, interacting with like-minded people with impunity because the web prevents people from being easily identified or controlled. While literature on exposure to hateful contents and cyberhate victimization is growing, little is known about who the perpetrators really are. A survey with young people aged 12–20 (N = 1,889) was completed in France and forms the basis of this article. It provides an understanding of the characteristics and associated variables of cyberhate perpetration. The Structural Equation model shows that cyberhate perpetration is heavily related to time spent online, victimization, belonging to a deviant youth group, positive attitudes toward violence and racism. Results from the SEM further suggest that people who suffered from online victimization will themselves have a greater tendency to belong to deviant youth groups. Multiple mediation analysis further suggests that trust in institutions may however prevent young people from belonging to a deviant youth group and decrease positive attitudes toward violence, thus diminishing the tendency to perform hateful aggression.
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Leitend ist für die International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016 (ICCS 2016) die Frage, inwieweit Jugendliche in der Schule auf ihre Rolle als Bürger*innen in Demokratien vorbereitet werden. Im Jahr 2016 hat Nordrhein-Westfalen als eines von 24 Schulsystemen in Europa, Asien und Lateinamerika an ICCS 2016 teilgenommen. Damit liegen erstmals seit 1999 international vergleichende Erkenntnisse über die Situation der politischen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Bildung für ein deutsches Bundesland vor. Der nationale Bericht zu ICCS 2016 stellt folgende Fragen in den Mittelpunkt: – Über welche Kompetenzen zur Analyse des politischen Geschehens verfügen Schüler*innen im internationalen Vergleich? – Welche für Bürgerschaft relevanten Einstellungen, Identitäten und Partizipationsabsichten zeigen 14-Jährige? – Welche Voraussetzungen sind innerhalb und außerhalb der Schule für zivilgesellschaftliche und politische Bildung bedeutsam? Zu diesen Fragen werden Ergebnisse vor dem Hintergrund der bisherigen Forschung und Theoriebildung diskutiert und in den internationalen Vergleich eingeordnet. Die Studie bietet für Studierende, pädagogische Fachkräfte, Verantwortliche im Bildungssystem und Wissenschaftler*innen eine Gelegenheit, ihre Vorstellungen über politisches Wissen, Identitäten, Einstellungen, Partizipationsbereitschaft und Zukunftserwartungen künftiger Bürger*innen zu reflektieren. Durch eine Bestandsaufnahme des politischen Mindsets von 14-Jährigen im internationalen Vergleich schafft ICCS 2016 eine empirische Basis für die weitere Entwicklung der politischen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Bildung in den beteiligten Ländern. Mit Beiträgen von Hermann Josef Abs, Ewa Bacia, Helen Baykara-Krumme, Igor Birindiba Bastia, Monika Buhl, Daniel Deimel, Eveline Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Katrin Hahn-Laudenberg, Janina Jasper, Sabine Manzel, Johanna F. Ziemes, Frank Eike Zischke (Text: Waxmann)
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Background: Problem Behaviour Theory postulates that different forms of norm violations cluster and can be explained by similar antecedents. One such cluster may include cyberbullying and cyberhate perpetration. A potential explanatory mechanism includes toxic online disinhibition, characterized by anonymity, inability to empathise, and to recognise and interpret social cues. We sought to develop a better understanding of the relationship between cyberhate and cyberbullying to inform effective intervention and prevention initiatives. Aims: To test the link between cyberbullying and cyberhate, and whether this relationship was moderated by toxic online disinhibition. Methods: Self-report questionnaires on cyberbullying, cyberhate, and toxic online disinhibition were completed by 1,480 young people between 12 and 17 years old (M = 14.21 years; SD = 1.68). Results: Increases in cyberbullying perpetration and toxic online disinhibition were positively related to cyberhate perpetration. Furthermore, cyberbullies reported more cyberhate perpetration when they reported higher levels of toxic online disinhibition and less frequent cyberhate perpetration when they reported lower levels of toxic online disinhibition. Conclusion: Our findings show a positive link between cyberbullying and cyberhate perpetration, and add evidence of a role for toxic online disinhibition in its moderation. This suggests that, if they are to be effective, prevention and intervention programmes should a) consider the co-occurrence of varying forms of cyberaggression and b) include attention to the potential effects of the online environment on young people’s aggressive online behaviour.
Article
Online hatred based on attributes, such as origin, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, has become a rising public concern across the world. Past research on aggressive behavior suggests strong associations between victimization and perpetration and that toxic online disinhibition and sex might influence this relationship. However, no study investigated both the associations between online hate victimization and perpetration, and the potential moderation effects of toxic online disinhibition and sex on this relationship. To this end, the present study was conducted. The sample consists of 1,480 German 7th to 10th graders from Germany. Results revealed positive associations between online hate victimization and perpetration. Further, the results support the idea that toxic online disinhibition and sex, by way of moderator effects, affect the relationship between online hate victimization and perpetration. Victims of online hate reported more online hate perpetration when they reported higher levels of online disinhibition and less frequent online hate perpetration when they reported lower levels of toxic online disinhibition. Additionally, the relationship between online hate victimization and perpetration was significantly greater among boys than girls. Taken together, our results extend previous findings to online hate involvement among adolescents and substantiates the importance to conduct more research on online hate. In addition, our findings highlight the need for prevention and intervention programs that help adolescents deal with the emerging issue of online hate.
Article
The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential moderating role of online disinhibition in the associations between adolescents' callous-unemotional traits (callousness, uncaring, unemotional) and anonymous and non-anonymous cyberbullying. To this end, 1047 (49.2% female) 7th and 8th graders completed questionnaires on their face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying, callous-unemotional traits, and online disinhibition. The findings revealed that increases in uncaring were more associated with self-reported non-anonymous and anonymous cyberbullying at higher levels of online disinhibition. The findings are discussed in the context of the characteristics associated with callous-unemotional traits, and how these characteristics increase adolescents' risk of cyberbullying perpetration. Recommendations are made for tailoring intervention programs to consider adolescents' personality traits.
Article
What factors are related to online targeting of hate material based to sexual orientation? This study addresses that question, utilizing a sample of 968 Internet users aged 15–36. Employing a logistic regression analysis, we find that social network usage, online antagonism, informal online social control, and a lack of online anonymity increase the likelihood of being targeted. Moreover, individuals living in the southern region of the United States are nearly three times as likely to be targeted by hate related to sexual orientation, whereas those living in rural areas are more than twice as likely to face such targeting.
Conference Paper
Social media platforms provide an inexpensive communication medium that allows anyone to quickly reach millions of users. Consequently, in these platforms anyone can publish content and anyone interested in the content can obtain it, representing a transformative revolution in our society. However, this same potential of social media systems brings together an important challenge---these systems provide space for discourses that are harmful to certain groups of people. This challenge manifests itself with a number of variations, including bullying, offensive content, and hate speech. Specifically, authorities of many countries today are rapidly recognizing hate speech as a serious problem, specially because it is hard to create barriers on the Internet to prevent the dissemination of hate across countries or minorities. In this paper, we provide the first of a kind systematic large scale measurement and analysis study of hate speech in online social media. We aim to understand the abundance of hate speech in online social media, the most common hate expressions, the effect of anonymity on hate speech and the most hated groups across regions. In order to achieve our objectives, we gather traces from two social media systems: Whisper and Twitter. We then develop and validate a methodology to identify hate speech on both of these systems. Our results identify hate speech forms and unveil a set of important patterns, providing not only a broader understanding of online hate speech, but also offering directions for detection and prevention approaches.
Article
Drawing from routine activity theory (RAT), this article seeks to determine the crucial factors contributing to youth victimization through online hate. Although numerous studies have supported RAT in an online context, research focusing on users of particular forms of social media is lacking. Using a sample of 15- to 18-year-old Finnish Facebook users (n = 723), we examine whether the risk of online hate victimization is more likely when youth themselves produced online hate material, visited online sites containing potentially harmful content, and deliberately sought out online hate material. In addition, we examine whether the risk of victimization is higher if respondents are worried about online victimization and had been personally victimized offline. The discussion highlights the accumulation of online and offline victimization, the ambiguity of the roles of victims and perpetrators, and the artificiality of the division between the online and offline environments among young people.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether (repeated) exposure to cyberbullying as a bystander has an impact on early adolescents' moral evaluations in terms of a decrease in empathy and a shift towards a more tolerant attitude towards cyberbullying. A two-wave panel study with a 6-month time interval was conducted among a sample of 1412 adolescents aged 10-13. Cross-lagged panel analysis was used to investigate relationships over time between being a bystander of cyberbullying, empathic responsiveness towards distressed others, and the attitude towards cyberbullying, while taking into account involvement in cyberbullying as a victim or a perpetrator. The results indicate a negative relationship between standing by at Time 1 and empathic responsiveness at Time 2. In other words, exposure to cyberbullying as a bystander at Time 1 predicted subsequent lower levels of empathic responsiveness at Time 2. The attitude towards cyberbullying at Time 2 was not influenced by seeing more cyberbullying acts at Time 1. Further implications of the results for prevention and intervention, and for future research are discussed.
Article
Impulsivity has a significant impact on behavior during adolescence. Moreover, previous research has shown associations between impulsivity (or low self-control) and perpetration and victimization of cyberbullying. However, the influence of impulsivity on bystander behavior has not been investigated yet, although bystanders play an important role in bullying situations. The present study examined the relationship between impulsivity and helping behavior in bystanders of cyberbullying. To predict the likelihood of helping a victim when witnessing cyberbullying, we collected self-reported data from a representative sample of 2309 pupils, aged 9 to 17. The results suggested that more impulsive adolescents were less likely to help the cybervictim. An explanation for the findings may be that helping behavior in a cyberbullying context requires inhibitory abilities which are deficit in impulsive adolescents. These findings could be used to inform intervention strategies about which factors are associated with bystander behavior in cyberbullying and how to target these.
Article
This study is based on a national survey investigation of 968 educators, who reported the incidence of LGBTQ harassment in schools, and their advocacy efforts on behalf of this population. LGBTQ-related knowledge, attitudes, norms, and perceived ability to advocate were also assessed. Ninety percent of educators reported observing LGBTQ harassment and 30% consistently intervened. Overall, educators reported positive attitudes towards LGBTQ people, felt professionally supported, and ready for LGBTQ advocacy. Educators reported inadequate knowledge of LGBTQ identity development and desire for professional development. School counselors were more informed about LGBTQ issues and more aware of LGBTQ harassment than school psychologists or teachers.
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the relationship between family and cyberbullying, a type of technological harassment among peers which is of growing concern in the scientific community and in today’s society. First, this chapter discusses factors associated with family functioning that may predict cyberbullying, particularly the family climate (cohesion, expressivity, and conflict) and parent–children communication. It also examines the role of parental socialization styles and their continuity with parental styles on the Internet: authoritarian style, laissez-faire, permissive and authoritative. In relation to parental styles, one section in this chapter describes the parental monitoring of Internet use and the various types of parental mediation strategies used by parents to control their children’s online behavior. The chapter ends with a section on preventing cyberbullying in the family itself. It concludes that parent–children communication helps create a positive family climate to implement emotionally suitable socialization styles and, in short, to prevent risky behaviors in children.
Article
Cyberbullying victimization is an important adolescent health issue. The cross-national study aimed to investigate the prevalence of cyber victimization and associated internalizing, externalizing and academic problems among adolescents in six European countries. A cross-sectional school-based study of 14–17 year-old adolescents (N = 10,930; F/M: 5719/5211; mean age 15.8 ± 0.7 years) was conducted in Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, Iceland and Greece. In total, 21.4% of adolescents reported cyber victimization in the past 12 months. Reports were more frequent among girls than boys (23.9% vs. 18.5%), and among the older adolescents compared to the younger ones (24.2% vs. 19.7%). The prevalence was highest in Romania and Greece (37.3% and 26.8%) and lowest in Spain and Iceland (13.3% and 13.5%). Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that cyber victimization was more frequent among adolescents using the internet and social networking sites for two or more hours daily. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that externalizing, internalizing and academic problems were associated with cyber victimization. Overall, cyber victimization was found to be a problem of substantial extent, concerning more than one in five of the studied European adolescents. Action against cyber victimization is crucial while policy planning should be aimed at the prevention of the phenomenon.
Article
We investigated the role of intra-familial and extra-familial relationships in children’s and adolescents’ prosocial behavior. Due to the changing quality of family relationships in the process of growing up, we compared two developmental stages: middle childhood and middle adolescence. For intra-familial relationships, we assessed the affective relationship quality and the communicative quality between parents and within the parent-child dyad. For extra-familial relationships, we measured parental work experiences and the presence of social networks. Analyses are based on the data from two collection waves (2006, 2007) of the youngest cohort (6-year olds) and the middle cohort (15-year olds) of the Swiss Survey of Children andYouth (COCON). The results reveal that the relationship quality between parents predicts children’s prosocial behavior, whereas the communicative quality of the parent-child dyad is more important in adolescence. Parental work experiences and social networks predict prosocial behavior indirectly through the quality of affective relationships and the quality of communication within the family.
Article
This study investigated the extent of young adults’ (N = 393; 17–30 years old) experience of cyberbullying, from the perspectives of cyberbullies and cyber-victims using an online questionnaire survey. The overall prevalence rate shows cyberbullying is still present after the schooling years. No significant gender differences were noted, however females outnumbered males as cyberbullies and cyber-victims. Overall no significant differences were noted for age, but younger participants were found to engage more in cyberbullying activities (i.e. victims and perpetrators) than the older participants. Significant differences were noted for Internet frequency with those spending 2–5 h online daily reported being more victimized and engage in cyberbullying than those who spend less than an hour daily. Internet frequency was also found to significantly predict cyber-victimization and cyberbullying, indicating that as the time spent on Internet increases, so does the chances to be bullied and to bully someone. Finally, a positive significant association was observed between cyber-victims and cyberbullies indicating that there is a tendency for cyber-victims to become cyberbullies, and vice versa. Overall it can be concluded that cyberbullying incidences are still taking place, even though they are not as rampant as observed among the younger users.
Article
In diesem Artikel wird der Forschungsfrage nachgegangen, welche sozialen Integrationschancen die so genannten "Bildungsverliererinnen" und "Bildungsverlierer" des deutschen Schulsystems haben und ob sich diese Jugendlichen von Schülerinnen und Schülern mit besserem Bildungszertifikat in ihren sozialen Desintegrationsängsten sowie feindseligen Mentalitäten unterscheiden. Untersucht werden insgesamt 1230 16-bis 21-jährige Heranwachsende aus unterschiedlichen Erhebungswellen der Gruppenbezogenen Menschenfeindlichkeits (GMF)-Studie der Universität Bielefeld. Die Befun-de der quantitativen Analysen zeigen, dass geringer qualifizierte weibliche und männliche Jugendli-che recht hoch durch Desintegrationsängste belastet sind. Es gibt jedoch eine überraschende Aus-nahme: Die Gruppe der Heranwachsenden ohne Schulabschluss äußert hier insgesamt weniger Be-denken. Darüber hinaus können die sozialen Desintegrationsbelastungen der befragten jungen Ge-neration mit problematischen Einstellungsmustern und Verhaltensbereitschaften in Verbindung ge-bracht werden. Zudem belegen die Befunde der Arbeit sowohl bei den Desintegrationseinschätzun-gen als auch hinsichtlich der bedenklichen gruppenbezogenen Vorurteile einige geschlechtsspezifi-sche Besonderheiten. How Integrated are Students with and without Graduation? Social Disintegration and its Possible Outcomes This article takes a closer look at the so-called "losers" of the educational system in Germany. For this purpose different groups of young people with and without higher graduation are examined. The dependent variables are social disintegration and prejudices towards different target groups. A sample of 1230 youths at the age of 16 – 21 has been drawn from different surveys of the Bielefeld Group-Focused Emnity study. According to the hypotheses the quantitative results show that those adolescents who are less qualified suffer from fear of disintegration. Surprisingly the group without any academic graduation suffers significantly less from strain of soci-al disintegration. Furthermore fear of disintegration can be linked to problematic attitudes and pro-blematic behaviour towards different target groups. Results of this work show as well gender speci-fic effects in prejudices towards target groups.
Article
The U.S. Constitution is unique even among democratic nations for the guarantees it grants to U.S. citizens. The interpretation of the Constitution further distinguishes American notions of freedom and liberty from every other country in the world. The Internet Age, however, has ushered in a period where national boundaries and guarantees are blurred among the many intersections of the World Wide Web. This uncertainty has raised serious questions relating to the fundamental rights and liberties established by our forefathers: Can the United States maintain its guarantee of freedom of speech for the Internet? Who profits from such a guarantee? What are the implications for other nations if the United States ignores their pleas to rein in such guarantees? Given the nearly unanimous international institution of regulations restricting online hate speech, the United States stands alone in its support of free speech—including Internet hate speech. Because of such a stance, however, the United States may become a beacon of hope for hate-mongers around the world whose views are stifled by the restrictions on speech in their homelands. Will the United States become a haven for online hate speech by continuing to guarantee such speech near-absolute protection? This Note attempts to answer the above questions and examines the desirability of U.S. protection of hate speech on the Internet.
Book
To understand the way children develop, Bronfenbrenner believes that it is necessary to observe their behavior in natural settings, while they are interacting with familiar adults over prolonged periods of time. His book offers an important blueprint for constructing a new and ecologically valid psychology of development.
Article
Abstract Little attention has been given to whether adolescents' beliefs about anonymity and their normative beliefs about cyber aggression jointly increase their perpetration of cyber aggression. To this end, the present longitudinal study examined the moderating influence of these variables on the relationships among adolescents' attitudes toward the permanency of digital content, confidence with not getting caught, and anonymous cyber aggression (ACA) assessed 1 year later (Time 2). These associations were examined among 274 7th and 8th graders and through five technologies, including social networking sites (SNS), e-mail, instant messenger (IM), mobile phones, and chatrooms. Findings indicated that increases in Time 2 ACA and attitudes toward the permanency of digital content were more strongly related when adolescents reported greater confidence with not getting caught and higher normative beliefs concerning cyber aggression through SNS and mobile phones. In addition, higher levels of attitudes toward the permanency of digital content, confidence with not getting caught, beliefs about anonymity, and normative beliefs regarding cyber aggression were related to greater Time 2 ACA through e-mail, IM, and chatrooms. All findings are discussed in the context of adolescents' positive attitudes toward ACA, and an appeal for additional research is made to understand more about anonymity in cyberspace.
Article
Prior research has demonstrated that victims of peer victimization show reduced psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and physical well-being compared with nonvictims. However, little research has addressed whether this maladjustment continues over the long term. This study examined adjustment in 72 high school students who had participated in a peer-nomination procedure assessing peer victimization when in elementary school (5 to 8 years earlier). Thirty-five high school students who had been peer nominated as overtly and/or relationally peer victimized were compared with 37 peers who were not nominated as victimized in elementary school. High school students completed self-report measures of psychological adjustment, social adjustment, physical well-being, and current overt and relational victimization. In addition, a retrospective self-report measure of peer victimization in elementary school was administered. Results revealed that, although current self-reported peer victimization was negatively related to adjustment, elementary-school peer-nomination measures of victimization were unrelated to high-school adjustment. Further, current self-reports of remembered victimization in elementary school were associated with lowered adjustment. These results indicate that current and past perceived peer victimization is negatively related to adjustment, but past experience of peer-identified victimization has a more complex relation to current adjustment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
This investigation examined social acceptance and popularity as correlates of perceived social reputations and perceived dyadic relationships in a cross-sectional sample of 418 6th and 7th grade students (approximate average age of 12 years). We assessed early adolescents' social status using peer nominations and measured their perceptions of their social status, behavioral reputations, and friendships from a combination of self-ratings and peer nominations. Social acceptance was positively related to perceptions of social acceptance and friendships and negatively related to perceptions of rejection and a victimized reputation. Popularity was positively associated with perceptions of popularity, rejection, and an aggressive reputation and negatively associated with perceptions of unpopularity and a socially withdrawn reputation. Our results were, in general, consistent with the suggestion that social acceptance is related to perceiving facets of reputations and relationships relevant to forming and maintaining friendships whereas popularity is related to perceiving facets pertinent to gaining social power.
Article
Seattle Public Schools has implemented policies and programs to increase safety, family involvement, and student achievement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This case study examines students' perceptions of bullying and harassment in the school environment, and teacher intervention when these problems arise in the presence of strong district policies and programs aimed at reducing LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools. We surveyed students in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at 13 secondary schools (N = 107). We also conducted focus groups with GSA students and students not involved in the GSAs in 7 of 13 schools (N = 16 groups, including 154 students). GSA students who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) were significantly more likely than straight students to experience several types of harassment. On the basis of student report, the 2 most common intervention strategies by teachers for verbal harassment included stopping the harassment and explaining why it is wrong; teachers intervened in physical harassment by trying to stop the harassment. Students provided input on how to strengthen teacher interventions, including the need for more consistency in responding and following up. Students also noted a need for more focus on educating those who harass, rather than just asking them to stop. Seattle Public Schools has made great strides in creating safe and welcoming schools for LGBTQ students, but still have to work further toward reaching this goal. Data from students on how they experience their school environment can help identify areas for improvement.
Article
It is well recognised that there are serious correlates for victims of traditional bullying. These have been shown to include increased levels of depression, anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms, in addition to often severe physical harm and even suicide. Bullied students also feel more socially ineffective and have greater interpersonal difficulties, together with higher absenteeism from school and lower academic competence. In the emerging field of cyberbullying many researchers have hypothesised a greater impact and more severe consequences for victims because of the 24/7 nature and the possibility of the wider audience with this form of bullying. However, to date there is scarce empirical evidence to support this. This study sought to compare victims' perceptions of the harshness and impact of bullying by traditional and cyber means. The major findings showed that although students who had been victimised by traditional bullying reported that they felt their bullying was harsher and crueller and had more impact on their lives than those students who had been cyberbullied, the correlates of their mental health revealed that cybervictims reported significantly more social difficulties, and higher levels of anxiety and depression than traditional victims. The implications for school counsellors and mental health workers are discussed.
Article
This study explores the impact of bullying on the mental health of students who witness it. A representative sample of 2,002 students aged 12 to 16 years attending 14 schools in the United Kingdom were surveyed using a questionnaire that included measures of bullying at school, substance abuse, and mental health risk. The results suggest that observing bullying at school predicted risks to mental health over and above that predicted for those students who were directly involved in bullying behavior as either a perpetrator or a victim. Observing others was also found to predict higher risk irrespective of whether students were or were not victims themselves. The results are discussed with reference to past research on bystander and witness behavior.
Article
Little is known about how key aspects of parental migration or childrearing history affect social development across children from immigrant families. Relying on data on approximately 6,400 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, analyses assessed the role of mother's age at migration on children's social development in the United States (sociability and problem behaviors). Consistent with models of divergent adaptation and assimilation, the relation between age at arrival and children's social development is not linear. Parenting practices, observed when children were approximately 24 months of age, partially mediated the relation between mother's age at arrival and children's social development reported at approximate age 48 months, particularly in the case of mothers who arrived as adults.
Article
This article reviews empirical and theoretical contributions to a multidisciplinary understanding of peer influence processes in adolescence over the past decade. Five themes of peer influence research from this decade were identified, including a broadening of the range of behaviors for which peer influence occurs, distinguishing the sources of influence, probing the conditions under which influence is amplified/attenuated (moderators), testing theoretically based models of peer influence processes (mechanisms), and preliminary exploration of behavioral neuroscience perspectives on peer influence. This review highlights advances in each of these areas, underscores gaps in current knowledge of peer influence processes, and outlines important challenges for future research.