Newswise — Teens and tweens have been bullying each other for generations. The bullies of today, however, have the advantage of utilizing technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices to inflict harm on others. In their book due out this month, Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Florida Atlantic University researcher, assistant professor in the department of criminal justice in the College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs, and Internet safety expert, and Dr. Justin W. Patchin, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, provide a comprehensive guide to identify, prevent and respond to this increasingly serious problem. The book is primarily based on Hinduja and Patchin's original research with thousands of adolescents, many of whom were victims of cyberbullying. In addition to providing numerous practical strategies for educators, parents and other youth-serving adults, the book includes personal stories and case scenarios, an extensive overview of terminology and legal issues, and a clear explanation of the scope and prevalence of online aggression among youth.
"We are seeing a number of common types of cyberbullying quite regularly," said Hinduja. "These methods of bullying range from posting obscene, insulting or slanderous messages on online social networking sites to malicious text messages sent via cell phones."
The consequences are not confined to cyberspace; Hinduja's ongoing research has linked cyberbullying to lower self-esteem, depression, a drop in school grades, school delinquency, peer violence and suicide.
Focusing on how technology can facilitate and augment traditional bullying behaviors, "Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard" features:
"¢ Illustrations of what cyberbullying looks like"¢ Tips for identifying cyberbullies or targets"¢ "Breakout boxes" highlighting hundreds of anti-cyberbullying strategies"¢ A review of current research and legal rulings"¢ Strategies for responsible social networking"¢ Follow-up reflection questions in each chapter"¢ Guidelines for school districts, parents and law enforcement
In 2007, Hinduja and Patchin conducted a classroom-based survey of approximately 2,000 middle-school children randomly selected from a large school district. They found that 17.3% had been cyberbullied in their lifetime, 17.6% admitted to cyberbullying others at some point in their lifetime, and 12.5% reported being both a victim and a bully. In addition, 42.9% of them had experienced at least one of the following in the last 30 days:
"¢ Received an email that made them upset (not spam)"¢ Received an instant message (IM) that made them upset"¢ Had something posted on MySpace that made them upset"¢ Had been made fun of in a chat room"¢ Had something posted on a Web site that made them upset"¢ Had something posted online that they didn't want others to see"¢ Were afraid to go on the computer
The types of youth most susceptible, how they felt, who they told, how they coped, and how it affected their lives are some of the many findings covered in the book which illustrates the gravity of cyberbullying and its real-world repercussions.
"This book provides timely research, best practices and personal voices from students that will go a long way toward improving student safety," said Gail Connelly, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
For more information, visit http://www.cyberbullyingbook.com.
- FAU -
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.