Sexting, Texting, Cyberbullying and Keeping Youth Safe Online

D'Antona, Robin; Kevorkian, Meline; Russom, Ashley
December 2010
Journal of Social Sciences (15493652);2010, Vol. 6 Issue 4, p521
Academic Journal
Problem statement: The issue of cyberbullying is one that has raised the concerns of parents, educators and law enforcement. Today children have cell phones with internet access as young as age eleven and some have cell phones as young as age eight making them all vulnerable to cyberbullying. Approach: The aim of this study was to explore differences between third, fourth and fifth graders perceptions of cyberbullying as a function of having a cell phone, by gender and grade. Data was collected from 835 third, fourth and fifth graders in Massachusetts. Results: An analysis of the data revealed that 35 % of third, fourth and fifth graders had their own cell phone, 11.4% responded that they had received mean or hurtful email or text messages about them and 45.6% of the students responded that they had been bullied in school. Differences by grade and gender were examined. Results indicate that although 27% of respondents worry about being bullied online, only 12% had someone talk to them about bullying online. Students in third grade were more in agreement that they worry about being bullied online and more strongly reported being afraid of being bullied by other students at school. Female respondents were more in agreement with the prevalence of cyberbullying or receiving hurtful emails and text messages about them and others. Conclusion: The findings suggest that students are provided with technology at young ages and receive very little guidance to protect them from cyberbullying.


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