A psychological typology of cyberbullies in schools

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Conference

ConferenceBritish Psychological Society (Psychology of Education Section) Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLiverpool
Conference date(s)23/10/1524/10/15

Publication details

DatePublished - Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The rapid rise in recent years of cyberbullying in schools has largely taken the educational community by surprise, and only now are we developing an understanding of how widespread cyberbullying in schools has become, the different forms that it can take, what motivates pupils to engage in cyberbullying, and what strategies schools can employ to prevent cyberbullying. One key issue that has emerged is whether pupils who engage in cyberbullying are different from those who engage in traditional face-to-face bullying. This paper takes stock of research findings dealing with cyberbullies in order to create a psychological typology of cyberbullies in schools. Key features in this typology are: (i) the extent to which the cyberbully acts as a detached, secretive and private loner, or acts socially and publically to gain social attention and recognition amongst peers; (ii) the extent to which the cyberbullying is a personal attack on the victim fuelled by jealousy, hatred, and revenge; (iii) whether the cyberbullying builds on moral disengagement and empathetic disinhibition; and (iv) whether the cyberbullying is the consequence of an addiction to the use of social media that has got out of control. A better understanding of cyberbullying types will help ensure that the strategies used to prevent cyberbullying by pupils takes account of the psychological attributes (both personal and social) that underpin such behaviour.

    Research areas

  • cyberbullying

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