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22.04.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2017

TechTrends 6/2017

Perceptions of Cyberbullying: An Assessment of Perceived Severity among College Students

TechTrends > Ausgabe 6/2017
Kristen N. Sobba, Rocio Alejandra Paez, Tusty ten Bensel


Cyberbullying research has typically been focused on specific areas, such as victimization, offender characteristics and typologies, and psychological effects for victims; however, perceived severity of cyberbullying has been studied less extensively. Using data on college students, the present study expands the current knowledge on perceived severity of cyberbullying by examining the way in which age, gender, race, type of high school attended before college, prior online victimization, and previous cyberbullying engagement influenced college students’ perceived severity of cyberbullying. Overall, the results indicate that college students considered cyberbullying to be a serious societal problem. Older individuals, females, those who attended public schools, and individuals who experienced cyberbullying victimization were found to be more likely to view cyberbullying as a serious problem than their counterparts. In addition, findings from this study revealed that even though college students perceive cyberbullying as a serious problem, the majority of those who have witnessed cyberbullying incidents would not report it to the police. Based on the findings, policy implications and practices to prevent future cyberbullying victimization are discussed.

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