Adolescents' involvement in cyber bullying and perceptions of school: the importance of perceived peer acceptance for female adolescents

Lucy Betts, Karin Spenser, Sarah E. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Young people are spending increasing amounts of time using digital technology and, as such, are at great risk of being involved in cyber bullying as a victim, bully, or bully/victim. Despite cyber bullying typically occurring outside the school environment, the impact of being involved in cyber bullying is likely to spill over to school. Fully 285 11- to 15-year-olds (125 male and 160 female, M age = 12.19 years, SD = 1.03) completed measures of cyber bullying involvement, self-esteem, trust, perceived peer acceptance, and perceptions of the value of learning and the importance of school. For young women, involvement in cyber bullying as a victim, bully, or bully/victim negatively predicted perceptions of learning and school, and perceived peer acceptance mediated this relationship. The results indicated that involvement in cyber bullying negatively predicted perceived peer acceptance which, in turn, positively predicted perceptions of learning and school. For young men, fulfilling the bully/victim role negatively predicted perceptions of learning and school. Consequently, for young women in particular, involvement in cyber bullying spills over to impact perceptions of learning. The findings of the current study highlight how stressors external to the school environment can adversely impact young women’s perceptions of school and also have implications for the development of interventions designed to ameliorate the effects of cyber bullying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-481
JournalSex Roles
Volume77
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

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