e-Learning to intervene in cyberbullying incidents
Despite the benefits of social media use for children, it also carries risks of cyberbullying. Online bystanders may play a crucial role in reducing cyberbullying. Therefore, a study in Computers in Human Behavior tests the effectiveness of an e-learning intervention in increasing positive bystander behavior. It turns out that e-learning can be successful in stimulating children’s intentions to intervene.
- The online anti-cyberbullying intervention is successful in increasing children’s intentions to intervene on behalf of a cyberbully victim.
- Children who think it is easy for them to intervene in cyberbullying incidents and who think their friends are likely to intervene as well, have stronger intentions to stand up for a cyberbully victim.
- E-learning programs that focus on the positive role of online bystanders provide hands-on tools for teachers and schools to empower children to stand up against cyberbullying.
298 children from elementary schools (grade five and six) (mean age: 11 years old; 54% girls)
Children completed an online anti-cyberbullying intervention. To determine the success of the intervention, before and after the intervention children answered questions about their own and their friends’ attitude toward cyberbullying, how confident they felt to intervene, and to what extent they intended to intervene in cyberbullying incidents.
Facts and findings
- 70% of the children overestimated how many children actually intervene in cyberbullying situations.
- The anti-cyberbullying intervention boosted children’s intentions to stand up for a cyberbully victim with 15%, as compared to children who followed the other e-learning program.
- Children thinking their friends would intervene in cyberbullying incidents, were more likely to intervene on behalf of a cyberbully victim.
- Children thinking it would be easy for them to stand up for a cyberbully victim, were also more likely to intervene in cyberbullying incidents.