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Introduction

Bullying has always been a teenager issue that confronts schools around the

world. Due to the adverse consequences of bullying on students’ academic

performance and psycho-social health, schools design and implement anti-bullying

programs and policies to prevent bullying behavior and to maintain a high level of

students’ well-being. Unfortunately, this task has become more challenging with the

emergence of the Internet and technology. Traditionally, bullying is carried out

through non-electronic means; however, increase in possession of mobile phones and

net-worked computers has transformed bullying from the real world to the virtual

space. Nowadays, online bullying has become a real international concern.

Particularly, Australia is challenged since there is a high percentage of young people

who own electronic means and have access to the internet. Substantial research has

been done to show the prevalence of bullying and its consequences, however little

focus has been given to the new term “internet bullying” or “cyberbullying”. In order

to take effective actions to prevent cyberbullying, researchers have advocated the

development of a comprehensive understanding of different aspects of cyberbullying.

In the article “Rates of cyber victimization and bullying among male Australian

primary and high school students”, Sakellariou, Carroll and Houghton (2012) consider

the nature, prevalence and consequences of cyberbullying in regard to male students

in Australian high schools. This article will be compared with Price and Dalgleish’

(2010) article “Cyberbullying, Experiences, impacts and coping strategies as


described by Australian young people”, which also focuses on the youth perspective

of cyberbullying, but extend to include the correlation between cyberbullying and

traditional bullying, and the examination of current coping strategies used among

young people.

In the essay, similarities and differences of both articles in terms of purpose,

literature review, findings and conclusion will be demonstrated. This essay will also

include implication for teaching practice and other relevant element of the educational

system.

Body

The purpose of Sakellariou et al’s (2012) study was to encourage educators and

associated professionals to develop a comprehensive understanding of their students’

experience of cyberbullying and to assist schools to develop more effective

prevention strategies. Price and Dalgleish’s (2010) research paper advocates similar

ideas, but they also take into consideration of the relationship between cyberbullying

and traditional bullying, examines the effectiveness of coping strategies currently

used and perceived, and provides evidence of the nature of cyberbullying in Australia.

Both studies find that cyberbullying is the least reported form of bullying, but it has

severe and negative impact on students’ emotion, self-esteem, mental health and

academic outcomes. In addition, both articles recommend that a collaborative

intervention that involves parents, teachers, schools and other community parties will
be an effective strategy to address the issue of cyberbullying.

Both articles provide adequate literature review that is relevant to cyberbullying.

Interestingly, the study by Sakellarious el al. mainly focuses on the international

research on the prevalence of cyberbullying, whereas Price and Dalgleish’s (2010)

review is more about the nature and extent of cyberbullying itself. For instance, the

driving force of cyberbullying, its comparability with traditional face-to-face bullying,

the concern about students’ reluctance of reporting and the effectiveness of current

coping strategy used by youth. Review of the literature helps both authors to sharpen

their research focus (Kim, 2015). Therefore, studies that address the gap of the current

research have been designed by both authors. Nevertheless, it is still worth

mentioning that Sakellarious et al. (2012)’s study provides limit information as it

references studies which neglects the multidimensional characteristic of cyberbullying.

Overall, both articles contain sufficient review of literature which are relevant to the

issue of cyberbullying.

Both articles provide a detailed data collection process, but they take different

approaches in terms of data collection. While Sakellarious et al. (2012) use Boys

Bullying at School Questionnaire (BBSQ), which contains 33 items to collect students’

responds to cyberbullying, Price and Dalgleish (2010) gather information by utilizing

online survey, comprising 16 quantitative questions and 2 qualitative questions, which

are designed for the purpose of the study. Furthermore, both articles provide detailed

discussion about the data collection process. The former article presents the reliability
of the data collected; unlike the latter article, Price and Dalgleish (2010) describes the

weakness of the design of data collection. Moreover, free-text responses questions

designed by this study promote unlimited range of answers and these answers can be

used to expand on and clarify closed questions (Wyse, 2014). Overall, both studies

use data collection process which provide youth perspective towards cyberbullying.

In terms of methodology, Sakellarious et al. (2012) uses a sample of 1530 Years

6 to 12 primary and secondary school male students from two capital cities – Brisbane

and Sydney, in contrast to Price and Dalgleish (2010), who select a smaller, but more

wide-spread sample size of 548 self- identified cyberbullying victims, aged under 25

years old. While Sakellarious et al. (2012) uses quantitative method, Price and

Dalgleish (2010) implements a combination of quantitative and qualitative method.

This mixed-method approach ensures the study to be more valid and interpretable

(Johnson, Onwuegbuzie and Turner, 2007). However, Price and Dalgleish (2012)

clearly point out the limitation of their study. They acknowledge that bias towards

female and recall bias may occur, and they also consider the inability of verify

authenticity of self-reported anonymous survey. Overall, these two studies cater to

culture diversity and socio-economic background.

The differences of research results of both studies will be discussed in this

section. Sakellarious et al.’s (2012) study focuses on the prevalence of cyber

victimization, cyberbullying as well as the level of distress caused by cyberbullying.


On the other hand, Price and Dalgleish (2010) focus on the writing of prevalence and

forms of cyberbullying, its impact and the use and effectiveness of current coping

strategies. It is clear that both studies look cyberbullying in depth. By analyzing these

results, it helps educators to develop and implement specific and effective strategies

to recognize and response to cyberbullying behavior. Furthermore, educators must be

aware of the fact that cyberbullying is complex and multidimensional, technology is a

means that promotes online bullying. The root cause of such behavior must be

perceived to eradicate cyberbullying.

The similarities of conclusion in both articles is the suggestion for further

research on cyberbullying and the urgent need for effective prevention strategies.

However, the difference between them is that Sakellarious et al. (2012) comments on

the limitation of its study sample by claiming that the potential audience of

cyberbullying is limitless. They, however, neglect to fully demonstrate the issue as

female students were not included in the study. On the other hand, Price and Dalgleish

(2010) argue that cyberbullying is more likely to take place among females; this is a

plausible claim as they obtain a high number of females in online survey. Overall,

they highlight the importance of further research for better understanding of the issue.

Implication for teaching practice

Given that cyberbullying is associated with a variety of negative educational and

psycho-social outcomes, strategies to address cyberbullying among young people has


become an urgent issue. Both articles describe cyberbullying as a behavior which

results from imbalance of power. This description is valuable to teaching as it shows

how the power dynamic has changed from the power of physical strength to the power

of one’s ability to use technology (Coffman, 2011). Thus, teachers need to understand

the potential risks of electronic communication and to guide students to use

technology in a positive way (Cross, Monks, Campbell, Spears and Slee, 2011). Apart

from this, teachers should implement a positive and fair learning environment where

healthy peer interaction and relationship is developed. Young people spend more and

more time with their peers, students who are attached to their peers are less likely to

engage in cyberbullying (Nixon, 2014). On top of that, this is also in line with the

Standard 4.5 in Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2011), which

suggests the incorporation of strategies to promote a safe, responsible and ethical use

of ICT in learning and teaching. Teachers should monitor students’ online behavior as

well as teach students to protect themselves while engaging activities in cyberspace.

Furthermore, as technology is used widely in educational setting, school

curriculum should also make changes to cope with the increasing usage of technology.

Instead of teaching about cyberbullying, school curriculum should focus on

“empowering students in terms of digital literary, technological skills, critical thinking

skill, netiquette, e-safety, assessing their own online risks, measures to protect

themselves, their reputation and their privacy online” (Agatston, Kowalski and

Limber, 2012; Collier, 2012; Grigg, 2010; Marczak and Coyne, 2010 and Perren,
Corcoran, Cowie, Dehue, Garcia, Mc Guckin et al, 2012, as cited in Cassidy, Faucher

and Jackson, 2013). Additionally, development of healthy behaviors and social skills

should be involved in school curriculum since cyberbullying is not merely about

technology (Cassidy, Faucher and Jackson, 2013). Furthermore, school climate plays

a key role in influencing students’ behavior. A positive school climate reinforces a

disciplinary school environment where sufficient communication is carried out

between students and teachers, strong parental involvement in students’ school life

and adequate assistance with school activities is given (Benders, 2012). Thus, with a

positive school climate, students are more likely to stay positive and have better

self-regulation.

When it comes to preventing and addressing cyberbullying, both research articles

point out that a critical aspect of addressing cyberbullying is the partnership between

parents and schools. This idea is also supported by Robison (2012), who argues that

parental involvement in monitoring their children’s interaction and relationship in

cyberspace is important in stopping cyberbullying. Hence, parents should be

encouraged to inquire about the strategies that school use to teach children about

cybersafety and cyberbullying and be involved in the establishment of cyberbullying

initiatives and polices.

Surprisingly, there are some other phenomenon that catches researchers’

attention. Some research articles’ findings show that teachers do not have sufficient
knowledge on cyberbullying, thus they have no idea how to deal with it and they are

not able to provide support for students. For example, teachers have high level of

awareness in face-to-face bullying behavior, however, they do not pay the same

amount of attention to cyberbullying, which is more insidious and harder to monitor,

although studies have pointed out the fact that students experience more

cyberbullying than traditional bullying and there is a negative impact on their

academic performance, such as loss of interest. in learning, poor attendance and

academic success. Undoubtedly, as Sezer (2010) stated that teachers’ high level of

awareness about cyberbullying directly affect the solution of problems which student

experience. Teachers’ sensitivity to cyberbullying is a prerequisite when designing

and developing effective strategies to stop cyberbullying. Moreover, both studies

encourage more researches to be done on this topic for a more comprehensive

understanding of cyberbullying. This purpose is in line with Bronfenbrenner (1994),

who highlights that the accuracy of understanding of human beings’ development and

behavior depends on our understanding of the whole ecological system. Hence, the

implication for teachers is to examine the motivation of bullies and to consider the

diverse relationship between students, who are reported being bullied and their family

background, experiences at school and their peer groups. The ability to conceptualize

bullying as a phenomenon in an ecological system helps teachers to discover more

about the different aspect of bullying perpetration behavior (Tanrikulu and Campbell,

2015).
Conclusion

In conclusion, both authors made contribution to the research field, and both

research paper have worked on the different aspects of cyberbullying. More

importantly, both articles have come to the similar recommendation for educators,

which is collaborative intervention that involves everyone in a school community to

help young people stay away from cyberbullying. Teachers are also individually

responsible for recognizing, supervising and supporting students’ wellbeing.

Therefore, more research need to be done to help educators to develop effective

strategies.
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