Definitional concepts of bullying and aggression from traditional platforms to cyber-repertoire

Grigg, Dorothy. 2013. Definitional concepts of bullying and aggression from traditional platforms to cyber-repertoire. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This research was conducted with the major purpose of contributing to the understanding of definitions, perceptions and concepts of cyber aggression with particular emphasis on cyber-bullying. Seven studies were conducted in total. The term ‘cyber-bullying’ was examined in focus groups and individual interviews (Study 1: N = 32; 8–54 years old). Qualitative thematic findings showed that the term is ambiguous and highlighted the need for further examination of its general use and perception within online aggression.

Typical exemplars that were common to cyber-bullying were examined (Study 2: N=136; 18-30 years old) and rated for centrality (Study 3: N=132, 18-30 years old) using the prototype approach by Rosch, 1972, Rosch, 1975. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) validated the exemplars. Hypotheses that exemplars would correlate with their given (Study 2) frequencies and mean ratings were accepted. Typical/central cyber-bullying exemplars were also determined (Study 4: N=89, 18-30 years old) in a recall and recognition memory task experiment, following the hypotheses that central exemplars of cyber-bullying would be recalled more than non-central exemplars of cyber-bullying.

Furthermore, motivating factors of cyber-bullying were examined (Study 5: N=10; 14-18 years old) using Grounded Theory (GT). GT revealed clusters of goaded and groundless motivators of cyber-bullying. Further validation of prototypes were carried out in a commonality triangulation (Study 6: N=114, 18-30 years old). Core exemplars of cyber-bullying from generated GT themes were determined in terminological categorisation study (Study 7: N=132, 18-30) where CB was differentiated from cyber-harassment, cyber-abuse and cyber-stalking. The implications of the findings including the need for various preventative measures (e.g. psychosocial therapies) to be applied to instances of bullying/victim and cyber-bullying/victim were suggested.

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Thesis (Doctoral)

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Date Deposited:

18 Dec 2013 15:57

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:56


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