Date of Award

3-20-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education

Department

Education

Major Advisor

Dr. Kathleen S. Cooter

Abstract

Repeated studies show that cyberbullying is pervasive amongst adolescents. Cyberbullying can lead to self-harm, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Educators are called to intervene in educating students about cyberbullying through research and federal legislation. However, there is little research examining whether this education is taking place or having an effect.

This study investigates the relationship between the incidences of cyberbullying victimization and offending over time and the direct cyberbullying instruction and activities facilitated by classroom teachers. The study took place amongst sixth graders in Jefferson County Public Schools, a large urban school district located in northern Kentucky. Students in one school were assessed on multiple measures of cyberbullying incidences (n=78). In the other school, students (n=45) were assessed on cyberbullying incidences, given 135 minutes of cyberbullying instruction, assessed again, and assessed three months later. The lessons were provided by Common Sense Media.

Wilcoxon Signed-rank tests and Mann-Whitney tests were conducted using data collected from the responses on the surveys. There was also qualitative evidence gathered such as interviews and anecdotes from teachers to assess the fidelity of implementation. This study indicates that cyberbullying intervention can have a significant effect on students’ tendencies to be a cyberbullying victim but not in being a cyberbullying offender.