Think Before You Type
February 20 2015
Bullying has been a problem in schools since most of us can remember, but as modern technology continues to advance bullying has taken on a new turning point. Children now dealing with a bully at school could escape it when he/she got home. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. New technologies make it possible for bullying to go beyond the classroom and into a child’s home life. As technology evolves, so do many of the problems faced by those who have access to it. The increasing use of the internet as a social networking ground creates a new problem for adolescents to become victims. It is now estimated that at least 90% of adolescents use the internet, with 50% using it on a daily basis (Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005). In addition, nearly half of all adolescents have personal cellular phones, allowing them instant access to text messaging (Lenhart et al., 2005). Cyber bullying has become so prevalent in America for several reasons, one of the reasons is that the bully usually remains anonymous and it becomes easy to bully without the risk of being caught, getting others to be involved in the action. Cyber bullying therefore gives a lot more freedom to bully others since the victims actions nor the bully is being exposed if they do not want to (Shariff, 2010). At times, children change roles either as the bully or as the victim. At one time, a child can be the bully and shortly after become the victim (Jacobs, 2010). often, children are not able to understand that what they are going through is a form of bullying. As a result the internet is now becoming a source of confusion, anxiety and self-esteem issues. Cyber-bullying is a unique form of bullying that has received a great amount of attention. Most research has focused the affects of cyber-bullying in general but little has focused on how does cyber-bullying affect middle school children’s self esteem?
A significant amount of research has demonstrates that experience with bullying has a negative effect on adolescent development (Nansel, Eitel, Saylor, 2001). Rosenberg defined self-esteem as ‘‘a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the self.’’ Leary and Downs considered self-esteem to be an internal representation of social acceptance and rejection and a psychological cause monitoring to which a person is included and excluded by others. Shariff (2008) states that “when we define a behavior, it is important to remember it as an action that takes place in a particular context, at a particular time, with various influences operating on the individuals who take the action” The literature regarding bullying and self-esteem finds that victims of bullying tend to have lower self-esteem than non-victims. Boys are more likely to use physical and verbal bullying, while girls are less obvious and use emotional bullying against those who they perceive as less than they are (Underwood, n.d.) Victims of bullying tend to have lower self- esteem than non-bullies.e therefore hypothesize similar relationships when considering experiences with cyber-bullying. The National Crime Prevention Council has given reports that cyber bullying affects more than half of the American teens. In a report by the ABC News in 2006, a survey was conducted on 1500 students in the grades between 4-8 and gave the following findings. About 42% of the children had experienced some form of bullying while online, 35% of them had received threats while online, 58% of the kids admitted that they had received hurtful information while online while the most shocking statistic was that 58% of these kids did not tell any adult about the form of harassment they receive while online. There are many students that are being bullied and at times the teacher or parents are aware. This study is important in order to understand the true...
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