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Ongoing and online: Children and youth's perceptions of cyber bullying


  • Mishna, Faye
  • Saini, Michael
  • Solomon, Steven


The use of online technology is exploding worldwide and is fast becoming a preferred method of interacting. While most online interactions are neutral or positive the Internet provides a new means through which children and youth are bullied. The aim of this grounded theory approach was to explore technology, virtual relationships and cyber bullying from the perspectives of students. Seven focus groups were held with 38 students between fifth and eighth grades. The participants considered cyber bullying to be a serious problem and some characterized online bullying as more serious than 'traditional' bullying because of the associated anonymity. Although the students depicted anonymity as integral to cyber bullying, the findings suggest that much of the cyber bullying occurred within the context of their social groups and relationships. Findings revealed five major themes: technology embraced at younger ages and becoming the dominant medium for communication; definitions and views of cyber bullying; factors unique to cyber bullying; types of cyber bullying; and telling adults. The findings highlight the complexity of the perceived anonymity provided by the Internet and how this may impact cyber bullying. The study offers greater awareness of the meanings of online relationships for children and youth.

Suggested Citation

  • Mishna, Faye & Saini, Michael & Solomon, Steven, 2009. "Ongoing and online: Children and youth's perceptions of cyber bullying," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1222-1228, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:12:p:1222-1228

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marilyn J. Hoppe & Elizabeth A. Wells & Diane M. Morrison & Mary R. Gillmore & Anthony Wilsdon, 1995. "Using Focus Groups to Discuss Sensitive Topics with Children," Evaluation Review, , vol. 19(1), pages 102-114, February.
    2. Sonia Livingstone & Leslie Haddon, 2008. "Risky experiences for children online: charting European research on children and the Internet," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27076, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. Van Royen, Kathleen & Poels, Karolien & Vandebosch, Heidi, 2016. "Harmonizing freedom and protection: Adolescents' voices on automatic monitoring of social networking sites," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 35-41.
    2. Park, Sora & Na, Eun-Yeong & Kim, Eun-mee, 2014. "The relationship between online activities, netiquette and cyberbullying," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 74-81.
    3. Mary Callaghan & Colette Kelly & Michal Molcho, 2015. "Exploring traditional and cyberbullying among Irish adolescents," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(2), pages 199-206, February.
    4. Låftman, Sara Brolin & Modin, Bitte & Östberg, Viveca, 2013. "Cyberbullying and subjective health," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 112-119.
    5. Niels C.L. Jacobs & Linda Goossens & Francine Dehue & Trijntje Völlink & Lilian Lechner, 2015. "Dutch Cyberbullying Victims’ Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes and Motivations Related to (Coping with) Cyberbullying: Focus Group Interviews," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, January.
    6. Shechory Bitton, Mally & Cohen Medina, Hagit, 2015. "Problematic internet use and sensation seeking: Differences between teens who live at home and in residential care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 35-40.
    7. Hong, Jun Sung & Cho, Hyunkag & Allen-Meares, Paula & Espelage, Dorothy L., 2011. "The social ecology of the Columbine High School shootings," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 861-868, June.
    8. Mishna, Faye & Khoury-Kassabri, Mona & Schwan, Kaitlin & Wiener, Judith & Craig, Wendy & Beran, Tanya & Pepler, Debra & Daciuk, Joanne, 2016. "The contribution of social support to children and adolescents' self-perception: The mediating role of bullying victimization," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 120-127.


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